Bushfire Management

The safety of Victorians is a high priority for government and community alike. The Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee (YCACC) is aware of community concerns relating bushfire risk and is committed to increasing community knowledge and a risk-based approach to revegetation and conservation area planning. The Yellingbo Conservation Area Bushfire Risk Management Plan 2018 has been prepared to:

The following planning principles provide the basis for the YCA Bushfire Risk Management Plan:

  • human life will be afforded priority over all other considerations;
  • establishment of the Conservation Area will not materially increase the bushfire risk to the local or broader community;
  • establishment of the Conservation Area will maintain or improve the resilience of natural ecosystems and their ability to deliver ecosystem services such as biodiversity, water, carbon storage and forest products;
  • a scientific approach using the most up-to-date information and advice from independent experts will be used to develop the YCA Bushfire Risk Management Plan;
  • staff from Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and local CFA brigades will be involved in the preparation of the YCA Bushfire Risk Management Plan to ensure that local knowledge is considered;
  • DELWP will be transparent about how decisions have been made and how stakeholder input has been considered;
  • DELWP will be transparent about what assumptions have been made in terms of risk assessment and mitigation;
  • the Plan will not conflict with DELWP or Parks Victoria’s legislated obligations; and
  • the Plan will not conflict with other land management policies relevant to the conservation.

For emergency bushfire information go to:

For information on planned burns go to:

Safer Together

Fuel management is an essential part of Victoria’s strategy for dealing with bushfire risk. The Safer Together website 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.

You can also find more information about Safer Together in the Victorian Government publication Safer Together: A new approach to reducing the risk of bushfire in Victoria (PDF)

Riparian Land

Riparian land generally poses a lower fire risk to a landholder’s property, including to crops, livestock, and built assets than the threat posed by other parts of the landscape. Further information can be found in the CFA Riparian Land and Bushfire Risk Resource Document (PDF) and the CFA Riparian Land and Bushfire Risk Resource Brochure (PDF)

DELWP Bushfire Mitigation and Fire Operations Plan

In partnership with Parks Victoria, DELWP will continue to implement a range of bushfire mitigation activities in the area. This includes fuel reduction burning, fire access track maintenance and improvement and 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.

Bushfire management on public land is a core responsibility of DELWP. For bushfire management and planning, DELWP and partner agencies, such as Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water, work under the name of Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV).  The DELWP lead Fire Operations Plan identifies public land areas for fuel treatment, including burning and slashing.  For more information or to discuss concerns please contact the DELWP office at Powelltown on 5965 9901.

However, it is important to remember that fuel management is just one part of reducing bushfire risk. Under the Safer Together policy, Forest Fire Management Victoria is actively working with the CFA, Parks Victoria, local Government and other agencies. This new approach to reducing the risks of bushfire focuses on how effective our actions are in reducing risk, not just the amount of activity we undertake. This approach has seen improvements in bushfire management such as:

  • better modelling and understanding of bushfire risk on private property as well as public land;
  • more efficient response to bushfires and sharing of staff and resources across all land tenures;
  • increased focus on joint training and exercising across agencies;
  • greater use of aircraft to support ground crews during bushfire response; and
  • increased community engagement and education about local bushfire risk.

Overall it means a more integrated approach across public and private land, with fuel management just one of the range of different management actions we will take to protect lives, homes, jobs and the environment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We know you might have some questions. Here are some of the most common questions that we receive.

What is Safer Together?

It is important to remember that fuel management is just one part of reducing bushfire risk. Under the Safer Together policy, Forest Fire Management Victoria is actively working with the CFA , Parks Victoria, local Government and other agencies to is our new approach to reducing the risks of bushfire, it focuses on how effective our actions are in reducing risk, not just the amount of activity we undertake.  This new approach has seen improvements in bushfire management such as:

  • better modelling and understanding of bushfire risk on private property as well as public land;
  • more efficient response to bushfires and sharing of staff and resources across all land tenures;
  • increased focus on joint training and exercising across agencies;
  • greater use of aircraft to support ground crews during bushfire response; and
  • increased community engagement and education about local bushfire risk.

Overall it means a more integrated approach across public and private land, with fuel management just one of the range of different management actions we will take to protect lives, homes, jobs and the environment.

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. Further information can be found in the CFA Riparian Land and Bushfire Resource Document (PDF)

In response to concerns from landholders and locals, the Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change committed to prioritising the development of a bushfire risk management plan, which incorporates community knowledge and informs a risk-based approach to revegetation and reserve planning that will not increase bushfire risk to the local and broader communities. This document Yellingbo Conservation Area Bushfire Risk Management Plan 2018 (YCA Bushfire Risk Management Plan) is in development to ensure there is not increased in bushfire risk. The Bushfire Risk Management plan will inform what revegetation works can occur, it will assess bushfire risk to the area, and set out strategies (such as identification of required water points, strategic breaks or slashing), to manage this risk.

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, will 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.

The Bushfire Risk Management Plan will consider dwelling in close proximity to the reserve, and ensure any proposed revegetation minimise risk from bushfire to the community and their homes.

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 concerns of locals regarding bushfire risk with the creation of the new conservation area. The safety of Victorians is a high priority for the DELWP.

In partnership with Parks Victoria, DELWP will continue to implement a range of bushfire mitigation activities in the area in line with the Bushfire Risk Management Plan. 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;
  • identification of water points, strategic breaks and slashing;
  • 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; and
  • 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; and
  • 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.

Resources

Fire

Ahern, A., & Chladil, M. (1999). How Far Do Bushfires Penetrate Urban Areas? Proceedings of the 1999 Australian Disaster Conference. Emergency Management of Australia. Canberra. (pp. 21-26). Retrieved from http://www.ibrarian.net/navon/paper/How_Far_Do_Bushfires_Penetrate_Urban_Areas__.pdf?paperid=11977908).

Cheal, D. (2010). Growth Stages and Tolerable Fire Intervals for Victoria’s Native Vegetation Data Sets. Fire and Adaptive Management Report no. 84. Melbourne: Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment. Retrieved from https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/21113/Report-84-REDUCED-SIZE-Growth-Stages-and-Tolerable-Fire-Intervals-For-Victorias-Native-Vegetation-Data-Se.pdf.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). (2015). Strategic Bushfire Management Plan: East Central. Melbourne: State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/318849/DELWP0016F_BMP15_EastCentral_web_v2.pdf.

Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). (2018). Haining Farm Bushfire Risk Analysis. Melbourne: State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from https://engage.vic.gov.au/download_file/7230/1657.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). (2018). Haining Farm Bushfire Risk Analysis: PHOENIX RapidFire Inputs. Melbourne: State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from https://engage.vic.gov.au/download_file/10777/1657.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). (2018). Haining Farm Bushfire Mitigation Measures. Melbourne: State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from https://s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/hdp.au.prod.app.vic-engage.files/4315/3301/9892/20180731_HainingFarmBushfireMitigationMeasuresreport.pdf.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). (2018). Yellingbo Conservation Area Bushfire Risk Management Plan. Melbourne: State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from https://engage.vic.gov.au/download_file/10447/944.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE). (2012). Code of Practice for Bushfire Management on Public Land. Melbourne: State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/21300/Code-of-Practice-for-Bushfire-Management-on-Public-Land.pdf.

Douglas, G., Gooding, O., & Leahy, J. (2014). Vegetation Classes: Victorian Bushfire Management Overlay. Melbourne: Country Fire Authority (CFA). Retrieved from https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/documents/20143/69511/Vegetation-Classes-Victorian-Bushfire-Management-Overlay-v0-3.pdf/f29e4450-a4ea-bfcb-ffe5-13cbbf01c746.

Forest Fire Management Victoria. (2017). Reducing Victoria’s Bushfire Risk: Fuel Management Report 2016–17. Melbourne: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/fuel-management-report-2016-17.

Haining Farm Working Group. (2018, August). Haining Farm Schematic Precinct Scheme - Emergency Access Plan. Melbourne: Parks Victoria. Retrieved from https://engage.vic.gov.au/download_file/8572/1657.

Hines, F., Tolhurst, K. G., Wilson, A. A., & McCarthy, G. J. (2010). Overall Fuel Hazard Assessment Guide: Fire and Adaptive Management (Report No. 82) (4th ed.). Melbourne: Department of Sustainability and Environment, State Government of Victoria. Retrieved from https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/21110/Report-82-overall-fuel-assess-guide-4th-ed.pdf.

Obliqua Pty Ltd. (2011). Fire Ecology: Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Bushfire Management in Rural Victoria. Melbourne: Country Fire Authority (CFA). Retrieved from https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/documents/20143/202133/FireEcologyGuide_Final_web.pdf/7cedddf1-cf36-0356-2a52-6af401cdcb6f.

Obliqua Pty Ltd., Country Fire Authority (CFA), & Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). (2017). Riparian Land and Bushfire: Resource document version 2. East Burwood: Country Fire Authority (CFA). Retrieved from https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/documents/20143/202133/Riparian-fire-risk-report-170302.pdf/b165acae-13c1-15dd-c68f-ae90a41aff53.

State Government of Victoria. Safer Together [website]. Retrieved from https://www.safertogether.vic.gov.au/

Tolhurst, K. G. (2018, April 9). Bushfire Risk Analysis in the Yellingbo Area. Melbourne: School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne. Retrieved from https://engage.vic.gov.au/download_file/10415/944.

Yarra Ranges Council. (2017, November). Draft Annual Fire Readiness Program. Lilydale: Yarra Ranges Council. Retrieved from https://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/files/assets/public/emergency-management-portal/committees/mempc/draft-yarra-ranges-annual-fire-readiness-program-2017-2018.pdf.