The fuel reduction burn involved a 280 hectare section of the Providence Ponds Reserve and an abutting section of the Princes Highway, divided into 4 sectors the CFA were to initially concentrate on the roadside burns and later in the afternoon move in to the reserve to support the DSE. Following the breifing the crews moved to their sectors and carried out some prepwork on trees within the proposed burn area while waiting for the fuel moisture checks to be completed.
Burning commenced shortly after lunch with the FMC down to about 14% and with the okay from the IC to light up, with a light North Easterly breeze and a temperature of 29 degrees and an RH of around 45% the burn started well. The VMO for East Gippsland Chris Lewis monitored the burn and was pleased with the resulting reduction in the fuel loads by between 70% and 80%. Some sections of the scrub in the shaded areas needed a bit of work where the ground fuels were a bit moist but overall a good result was acheived and as the burn progressed the CFA crews were relocated from the roadside burn to within resrve itself to support the DSE crews.
The seabreeze moved the wind more Easterly and pushed the fire into the reserve while the crews worked on consolidating the Northern and Western edges of the burn. Dse utilised an aerial driptorch to burn out the centre of the reserve while CFA tankers monitored the Northern side of the supported by a chopper to ensure there was no spotting activity out of the reserve.
Chris Lewis in his role as VMO(vegitation Management Officer) for East Gippsland had coordinated the planning around the joint management of the burns completing the prescriptions for the roadside burns and arranged for the traffic management along Princes Highway which resulted in a section of around 3km being reduced to 40kmh for a large portion of the day.
CFA crews involved in the burn were a mix of District 10 and Disrict 11 briagdes and included units fro Briagalong, Avon, Maffra, Newry, Coongulla, Hillside, Lindenow South and Munro. Ops Officer Wayne Petford acted as CFA burn OIC and was supported Alby Chambers from Tinamba and John Hamment from Briagalong on the ground looking after the sectors. An incident Management Team at DSE's Heyfield ICC was charged with cordination and control of the burns led by Incident Controller Cliff Ireland and the CFA was represented in the IMT by Ken Baxter and Ros Benson from Stratford.