Keeping watch on Mount Macedon

A new fire observer cabin has been installed on top of Mount Macedon.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning project officer, Andrew Johnstone, said the new cabin and access ladders replaced an older model and included improved safety features for the fire lookout observer.
“The new cabin looks similar to the old one but access has been modified so that the operator now enters via a door off the walkway rather than through a hatch in the cabin floor,” Mr Johnstone said.
“The most important change is to the ladders the lookout observer uses to climb the 32-metre tower and access the cabin.
“The previous ladders required a person to have specific training and to use a harness while climbing due to the narrow rungs and long length of the ladder.
“The size, gradient and length of the new ladders mean they can be climbed without specialist training or harness.
“The new cabin is also fully insulated and air conditioned, which is important because fire tower observers can spend up to 10 hours a day in the cabin during summer.”
In October, DELWP used a 60-tonne crane to remove the cabin, platform and access ladders from the tower, before craning the new cabin into place and installing the new ladders.
“We’ve just completed the final fit-out, including installing communications gear, so the new cabin is now operational for the upcoming fire season,” Mr Johnstone said.
A fire lookout tower was first established on top of Mount Macedon by the Forest Commission in 1926.
The Mount Macedon tower is part of a network of strategically located fire towers that cover Victoria’s parks and forests. The tower provide essential early detection of bushfires, communications links and intelligence gathering of fire behaviour.
Replacement of the cabin cost $250,000 and was funded by the Victorian Government’s Reducing Bushfire Risk initiative.

The Mount Macedon fire observation tower is part of a network of strategically located towers that cover Victoria’s parks and forests.

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