They are in locations that will protect private property, significant transport routes and critical community infrastructure like water and power supplies.
“No single action completely removes the risk of bushfires, but the breaks will mean these townships have a permanent fuel reduced ring around them, from where firefighters are better able to defend the town and conduct planned burning,” FFMVic Otways District Manager, David Roberts said.
“They have reduced fuel loads which removes the immediate radiant heat impacts and provide access and egress for emergency services. They also help recovery efforts by providing safer road access, meaning towns and businesses can get back on their feet quicker,” he said.
“We appreciate that this is significant change to the landscape and that the breaks look a bit rough now, but they will soften over time and be managed to be healthy open grassy or heathy woodlands with larger trees retained.”
With the challenge of a drying climate, it is a practical, on-ground initiative to modify a small part of the landscape that will deliver community-wide safety benefits.
Beginning in December last year, crews have now completed approximately 80 per cent of the planned new fuel breaks, with work finished around Anglesea, including north of the township along the Great Ocean Road itself.
Most of the work around Lorne, Aireys Inlet, Fairhaven and Moggs Creek is also complete, with crews set to finish up within the next two weeks.