Will there be increased risk of fire in these corridors?
Riparian land generally poses a lower fire risk to a landholders property, including to crops, livestock, and built assets than the threat posed by other parts of the landscape (CFA Riparian Land and Bushfire Risk). Further information can be found here.
Is riparian land a fire wick?
Riparian areas do not typically act as a ‘wick’ or ‘fuse’ in that fire will not burn along them rapidly independently of other influences. Fire will burn most rapidly in the direction of the wind, while continuing to spread more slowly sideways. In many cases riparian vegetation, due to the presence of trees and shrubs which will slow the wind; combined with the likely higher fuel moisture content; will slow the spread of fire compared to neighbouring exposed grass or crops.
What about extreme fires?
In extreme fire events, such as the February 2009 fires, all vegetation can burn. Historically these landscape scale events are relatively rare. In these situations as the amount of riparian land is limited, riparian areas will not have a major influence on the fire spread and impacts compared to the more widespread grass and forest fuels.
What about riparian protection and improvement projects?
Revegetation projects which involve creating narrow vegetated strips remote from assets, may not significantly add to bushfire threat. In addition trees may filter some embers as well as reducing wind speed, rate of spread and intensity of fire.
When developing its revegetation strategy Parks Victoria will consider private structures in close proximity to the reserve, and ensure revegetation structure and will minimise risk from bushfire to the community and their assets.
Will fencing make it harder for firefighters to access areas?
Fencing will not inhibit fire suppression activities. A detailed Fire Management Plan will be developed by Forest Fire Management Victoria, which will detail track network and access requirements for day to day prevention activities as well as emergency response activities.
If the CFA requires access to a reserve via a property, gates are always used as a priority, however under the CFA Act 1958, the CFA is authorised to cut fences as a last resort to gain access for fire suppression
What is DELWP doing to address the fire risk?
DELWP is aware of the potential for fuel loads to increase with the creation of the new conservation area. The safety of Victorians is a high priority for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
In partnership with Parks Victoria, DELWP will continue to implement a range of bushfire mitigation activities in the area. This includes:
Fuel reduction burning and other fuel management activities in key areas in and around the broader Yellingbo Investigation Area. This has taken place over many years.
Fire access track maintenance and improvement within the Yellingbo Investigation Area.
Safer Together, a whole-of-Victorian Government policy that combines strong community partnerships with the latest science and information to more effectively target our actions to reduce bushfire risk.
Collaborating with communities and agencies, including the CFA, to develop township fire plans which examine options to manage bushfire risk on both public and private land.
What fire control works have occurred in the district?
Parks Victoria and DELWP have been conducting fuel reduction burning and other fuel management activities (particularly slashing) in key areas in and around the Yellingbo Investigation Area for many years. Areas targeted include:
- Dandenong Ranges National Park
- Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve
- Warramate Hills Nature Conservation Reserve
- Mt Toolebewong
- Yarra State Forest
- Yarra Ranges National Park
- Kurth Kiln Regional Park
- Wright Forest
The DELWP lead Fire Operations Plan identifies public land areas for fuel treatment, including burning and slashing. For more information on plan or to discuss concerns please contact the DELWP office at Powelltown on 5965 9901.
Who is responsible for managing fire risk on Crown land?
Fire management of riparian land is the responsibility of private landholders and the licencees of Crown land frontage. On public land where there is no licence, DELWP is the responsible agency.
How can I work with the agencies to reduce fire risk?
Fuel management is an essential part of Victoria’s strategy for dealing with bushfire risk. ‘Safer Together’ sets out how agencies will work with communities to plan and deliver fuel management in areas that can most effectively reduce risk. ’Safer Together’ combines world leading bushfire science with local knowledge to ensure fuel management programs suit local needs.