RED Cliffs, Sunnycliffs, Mildura, Cliffside, Monak, Trentham Cliffs and Gol Gol residents may continue to see smoke for the next couple of days following the successful completion of a 66-hectare planned burn at Woorlong Wetlands in Kings Billabong Park this past Sunday.

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) Mallee District Manager, Phil Murdoch, said community consultation process had identified areas of concern prior to the burn taken place.

“During consultation with the community, local residents requested the burn due to concerns over the high amount of fuel loads, primarily cumbungi and spiny rush in the area,” he said.

“The burn is part of an integrated plan to reduce bushfire risk to people, property and highly valued assets as well as to eliminate a feral pig harbour in the area.

“Feral pigs were regularly reported in backyards and farming properties of neighbouring houses and are becoming a problem for landholders.

“The burn was ignited around midday, and took approximately five hours to complete. The smoke became quite dark during the burn due to a combination of the density of the heavy fuels and some moisture at the bottom of the reeds.

“Eighteen Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighters and approximately 20 Country Fire Authority firefighters from Irymple and Red Cliffs carried out the burn with assistance and support from volunteers in the Sunraysia Forward Command Vehicle.

“All roads are now open, and Forest Fire Management Victoria crews will patrol the burn area for the next couple of days.”

Mr Murdoch said that two burns planned for this past Monday in the Murray Sunset National Park had been postponed due to unsuitable weather conditions.

He said FFMV officers will look at rescheduling the burns when forecasts shows cooler temperatures and reduced wind.

For the latest information about when planned burns are happening, visit www.ffm.vic.gov.au/plannedburn, download the VicEmergency app, or call the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226.