The Fire Danger Period in Victoria has finished after the last two local government areas in the state’s south west, Corangamite and Colac Otway, ended fire restrictions on Monday 27 April.
Fire restrictions first began across East Gippsland on 23 September 2019, which is the second earliest start ever, and progressed across the state in line with risk.
The fire season had a number of milestones, including Victoria’s first Code Red day in almost 10 years, the first declaration of a State of Disaster and Australia’s largest evacuation by sea.
US and Canadian teams were deployed to support thousands of Victorian firefighters and incident management teams over the summer in Incident Control Centres and out on the ground.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said we’ve had an incredible six months in our state and in our sector.
“It’s been an outstanding effort by all and I sincerely thank all our people for what they have done and continue to do to keep our community safe,” he said.
Since 21 November, Victoria recorded more than 3,500 grass, scrub and bushfires which burnt more than 1.5 million hectares of land, primarily in the eastern half of the state.
As a result of the fires, there were 405 residential and 653 non-residential structures damaged or destroyed and tragically, five people lost their lives.
“Bushfire Recovery Victoria remain very focused, as I and others are too, on ensuring that we support fire impacted communities while we continue to respond to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Crisp said.
The State Control Centre, which coordinates the preparedness, response and recovery to major emergencies across the state, has now been activated for 200 consecutive days, which has never happened before in its history.
“This reflects the amount of work that has occurred across summer, with our fires and now with COVID-19, a lot of people have been working very hard supporting our control agencies and keeping the community safe,” Mr Crisp said.