ROADS within the Grampians have benefited from part of the $273.2 million package to reduce the risk and severity of bushfires across Victoria.
Ten new creek crossings were constructed along Harrop's Track from Mooralla to its continuation onto Red Rock Road at Glenisla.
Forest Fire Management Victoria's Wimmera district manager Glenn Rudolph said an important component of the Reducing Bushfire Riskprogram was to ensure adequate road capacity to respond quickly and safely to bushfires in state forests and national parks this summer.
"To do that, we've needed to ensure we can get all emergency response vehicles including larger fire trucks and massive machinery, such as excavators and bulldozers, on-site more quickly to construct fire containment lines and natural barriers," Mr Rudolph said.
"We've undertaken 10 kilometres of gravel works and have built new bridges along the length of Harrop's Track to Red Rock Road, which has increased the weight-bearing capacity of the road.
"Works have also included removing fire-killed trees that can fall on firefighters, vehicles or block roads.
Mr Rudolph said a result of the upgrades was local accessibility, road safety and emergency response to bushfires has been vastly improved.
"This is particularly important for the remote areas to the west of Victoria Range," he said.
"All eight creek crossings along Harrop's Track (No.1, Camp, Mosquito, Graham, Honeysuckle, Deep, Hut and Cultivations Creeks), as well as two along the southern end of Red Rock Road (Red Rock and Muline Creeks) within the southern Grampians National Park now have new infrastructure in place.
"Creating safer and more reliable roads under our Reducing Bushfire Riskprogram has multiple community benefits, including higher quality local roads, greater access to many of our popular visitor locations and safer evacuation routes in the event of bushfires."