Drone drops incendiaries to ignite a planned burn in Victoria's Grampians

Drone drops incendiaries to ignite a planned burn in Victoria's Grampians

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A 3000 hectare ecological burn near Halls Gap in the Grampians was ignited by a drone dropping incendiaries. Picture: Parks Victoria.

A 3000 hectare ecological burn near Halls Gap in the Grampians was ignited by a drone dropping incendiaries. Picture: Parks Victoria.

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A drone has successfully ignited a planned burn in Victoria's Grampians.

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A drone has successfully ignited a planned burn in Victoria's Grampians.

The drone dropped aerial incendiaries into thick bush where parks rangers find it difficult to reach for the pre-summer ecological burns.

The trial saw Forest Fire Management Victoria crews in the Wimmera working with a licensed operator to pilot the drone.

The drone was found to increase accuracy and save crews time from navigating the difficult terrain on foot.

The 3000-hectare ecological burn, near Halls Gap, was identified as ideal for the drone trial due to its thick vegetation, intersecting drainage lines and creek system - which make it difficult for crews to access.

Every year since 2017, parks crews carry out the burn, which aims to create a patchy mosaic of burnt and unburnt land to break up the vegetation, encourage regeneration and provide habitat for threatened species, such as the Heath Mouse and Southern Brown Bandicoot.

It also promotes the growth of threatened native grasses and orchids and helps to control weeds in the area.

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Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said: "By continuing to improve our practices and trial new technology, we are able to deliver a more effective planned burning program to protect communities and the environment from bushfires.

"Climate change and more extreme weather events are changing the nature of bushfires, so it's important we take action now to minimise risk to human life and our native wildlife."

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