Working in partnership

Victorian communities expect our land and fire managers to work together, and with the broader emergency management sector, to reduce risk and improve the safety of communities. We are working to achieve this by

  • Developing approaches that have a mix of risk management strategies from planned burning and mechanical fuel treatments, to land use planning and fire refuges, as well as consider how we position existing resources to fight bushfires more effectively
  • Delivering a single fuel management program, guided by a single strategy in each Victorian Government region which focuses on reducing risk and delivering on regionally recognised priorities
  • Sharing resources between agencies to deliver more burning
  • Using the expertise of each agency to deliver planned burns safely and effectively to meet multiple outcomes including risk reduction, biodiversity conservation, research and firefighter training

Fuel management projects

This part of the Safer Together program focuses on improving preparedness and response to bushfires on public and private land.

To do this FFMVic and CFA are cooperating on:

  • training staff to plan and deliver planned burns
  • planning to reduce bushfire risk regardless of land tenure
  • sharing of staff, equipment and knowledge
  • building systems that support operational activities, including public notifications for CFA/FFMVic led burns and digital permits for private land burns
  • developing strategic fuel break networks across public and private land

By working in partnership, this stream will improve cooperation and coordination between FFMVic and CFA as well as facilitating greater engagement of local governments and Traditional Owners.

Fuel management on private land and roadsides

Through Safer Together, CFA has been able to increase the amount of fuel management it delivers on private land, enabling the agencies to target bushfire risk – regardless of land ownership. CFA has built a public land  program which is now a part of the Joint Fuel Management Program for Victoria.

Digital fire permits

Digital Fire Permits is a joint development project between CFA, DELWP, and Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV)   to implement a fire permit application and management system across jurisdictions. Digitising the permit process will enable a single electronic source of information that provides consistency in the requirements for permitted use of fire in the open air during a restricted period, as well as a single application process to deliver a timely and efficient application. The platform was release to the public in May 2020  .

CFA Commanders

This project builds on a gap that was identified during the first two years of Safer Together.  The project establishes a new role, Commander- Planned Burning, within CFA to facilitate better outcomes between planning and operational delivery of fuel management. The role will integrate CFA members and FFMVic teams to improve planned burn delivery across two key areas of the state – the interface areas of outer metropolitan Melbourne and the Goldfields townships.

CFA state-wide planned burning task force team pilot

This project builds on the Planned Burn Taskforce Pilot V1 in Safer Together 1.0 which assessed the viability of having a mobile volunteer workforce. The planned burn taskforce provides opportunities for volunteers to register their availability for deployment for planned burning in the same way as volunteers are currently deployed for fire response.  This provides valuable experience for volunteers in fire behaviour and understanding of planned burning – an experience which can then be applied when fighting bushfires – and provides more resources to deliver burns and further reduce bushfire risk.

Fuel condition on private land

This project will work with a targeted subset of landowners in Hume Region to gain an understanding of the actual versus modelled fuel hazards across different age classes of private forest next to Crown land. The project is aimed at obtaining new and improved knowledge of the factors contributing to bushfire hazards on the private–public land interface. The project will produce data and a report for stakeholders by December 2020, which will include: a dataset of overall fuel hazards, an assessment of the assigned fuel type used in Phoenix RapidFire (an application that predicts fire behaviour),   an understanding of habitat quality and an assessment method for determining if the fuel type needs to be adjusted in the Phoenix model.

Embedded risk assessment for planned burns

This project continues the work developed under Safer Together 1.0 to more thoroughly integrate risk assessment into burn planning processes. The approach aims to meet the needs of CFA and FFMVic whilst maintaining compliance with ISO31000 – the international risk standard.

Tarnook all hazards IMS

This project will replace and improve incident reporting as part of the Tarnook (FFMVic Fireweb Refresh) Project. The project will also integrate CFA incident data from IMS into Fireweb and pass Fireweb information back to IMS to ensure incident information is accurate and available to both organisations and not duplicated. This will also result in more accurate information being provided to the community via VicEmergency.

Bendigo fire management plan

This project seeks to reduce the risk of bushfire to people, property and environment in the project area. Project activities are modelled on the learnings gained during the development of the Bendigo Fire Strategy. The project aims to reduce the risk of bushfire in the area by reducing fuel hazards around properties, improving access on private & public land, working with the community to deliver on-ground works for both public and private land and building resilience and relationships with the community.

CFA wildfire instructor

This project funds an instructor to assess CFA Burns Controllers and ensure CFA has adequate systems in place to manage planned burn training and assessment to the agreed joint standards. As well as assisting CFA with Safer Together implementation, the Wildfire Instructor – Planned Burning will contribute to developing training material, consulting with CFA training staff and reviewing and improving pilot courses.

Joint planned burn delivery

This project began with the Safer Together 1.0 Joint Delivery project, which built a foundation for increased cooperation in the delivery of planned burns and the local, regional and state levels.

This project aims to make further steps towards greater collaboration between FFMVic and CFA to support integrated fuel management across all land tenure in partnership with municipalities, community groups and other stakeholders. The aim is to be more efficient as a sector in implementing fuel management so that resources are directed to the highest priority actions to reduce bushfire risk, regardless of land tenure.

Fire ecology strategy for Wilsons Promontory National Park

This project aims to identify and map environmental values in the Wilson’s Promontory landscape and highlight those at risk from future fire. The project will address several key knowledge gaps in how planned fire can be used to protect assets and improve the health of important ecological communities in the National Park. The research conducted by Parks Victoria will identify priority areas, gather baseline data on the current state of conservation and undertake an ecological risk assessment. The research will also include an ecological fire resilience analysis, stability and adaptability planning.

Page last updated: 08/09/20