Along with other northern Victorian councils, Mount Alexander is currently in the process of getting together a Municipal fire management plan. These plans are part of the State’s integrated fire management policy mentioned in our post of September 5.
A draft plan is slated for completion for consultation by March 2012, and it is expected that the final plan will be finished by October.
From FOBIF’s point of view, the compilation of this plan is interesting in that it is intended to contain an overview of fire risk in the area, including the Moonlight Flat Pine plantations. In 2010 we wrote to the plantation managers, Hancock Plantations, enquiring after their fire prevention strategy and how it relates to the surrounding bushland, but have not been favoured with an answer. Although we have been assured by DSE fire planning manager Ben Matthews that ‘managers of these plantations must adhere to strict fire prevention guidelines’ we haven’t found anyone who knows what exactly the guidelines are: and in particular we don’t know how they relate to the management of adjoining public and private land, some of which is infested with flammable feral pines. We look forward to being enlightened when the draft plan emerges in March.