“Our crews ignited the burn near Mossiface and then had to call 000 to activate Victoria Police when, contrary to Authorised Officers’ advice members of the public entered the burn zone and refused to leave.
“This is reckless and irresponsible behaviour that puts their own lives and the lives of our firefighters and the community at risk in addition to tying up valuable police resources.
“Crews were unable to ignite the planned burn near Nowa Nowa due to protest activity and again had to call for assistance from Victoria Police.
“We have CFA volunteers attending many of our planned burns to assist us with operations and as training exercises.
“These are the people our communities rely on to protect them from bushfires, yet their lives too could be at risk from this sort of protest activity.
“The majority of planned burn areas are declared as Public Safety Zones under the Safety on Public Land Act 2004. This is to ensure the safety of the public and firefighters as burns are undertaken. No unauthorised personnel can enter a Public Safety Zone.
“These protestors were behaving irresponsibly, endangering their own and other people’s lives through their actions.
“Everyone has the right to protest but we cannot condone actions that obstruct Forest Fire Management Victoria from carrying out planned burning operations to protect our communities.
“Victoria Police is investigating the matter with assistance from our Authorised Officers.”