Victorian authorities are confident the state is well prepared for the upcoming fire season despite an inability to do all planned burn-offs.
A protracted fire season and an unusually wet autumn meant the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) could only burn off 33 per cent of its targeted 260,000 hectares.
But the department said this was not necessarily a problem.
“Despite the weather … more than 440,000ha of planned burns were prepared so they were ready to be ignited as soon as the conditions were right,” DEPI said in a statement.
“This, along with an early start to spring, has given us a head start on carrying out planned burns ahead of summer.”
DEPI said most effort was put into areas closest to towns and other areas where the risks were greatest.
The department said the risk of bushfire had already been reduced greatly, with more than 700,000ha burned by design over the past four years.
“Victoria is well prepared for the next fire season, which again looks like it is going to be a busy one,” DEPI said on Friday.
“We will continue to make the most of every opportunity to reduce bushfire risk to Victorian communities and the environment.”