• Cooler annual temperature
  • Mix of temperate rainforest, alpine and farming
  • Large uninterrupted forest and parks with remote accessibility
  • Aging coastal populations
  • Small communities near large continuous forests
  • Small isolated populations of vulnerable flora and fauna species

Fuel Management

  • Permanent fuel breaks that are also used for forest access
  • Fuel management corridors through vast tracts of public land to break up large fires
  • Intense fuel treatment around communities and critical infrastructure

Bushfire Risk

The residual risk curve tells a story about how bushfires, recovering fuels after bushfires and our fuel management activities, affect the changing levels of bushfire risk across the landscape over time.

Within the Alpine and Greater Gippsland BRL, residual risk is currently at around 48%.

Residual risk fell sharply following major bushfires in the early 1980s. As fuels slowly re-accumulated, residual risk increased.

Residual risk fell again in 2003 and 2006/07 following the significant bushfires in the Alpine areas. Planned burning kept residual risk down to historically low levels in the years following these bushfires, but risk has been increasing in recent years as fuels re-accumulate in bushfire-affected areas.

Implementation of the risk-based fuel management strategy on public land is projected to keep residual risk well below the levels that existed prior to the 2003 and 2006/07 bushfires. Without planned burning, residual risk would increase to around 70% by 2020.

Many communities in the Alpine and Greater Gippsland BRL are vulnerable to major bushfires due to their close proximity to large, continuous areas of vegetated public land. As this public land is generally treatable by planned burning, DELWP has relatively high leverage to manage bushfire risk through fuel management in these areas.

Residual risk

Figure 1: Residual risk profile, Alpine and Greater Gippsland BRL, 1980–2020

Environmental Metrics

Understanding the impact of fire on ecosystems requires first being able to define and measure ecosystem resilience.  Tolerable Fire Interval (TFI) and Vegetation Growth Stage Structure (GSS) are used as indicators of ecosystem resilience at a landscape level. These allow us to better understand ecosystem resilience and the impacts of fire.

Map of Tolerable Fire Interval 2015 [PDF File - 686.7 KB]

Map of Growth Stage Structure 2015 [PDF File - 738.9 KB]

Within the Alpine and Greater Gippsland landscape, around 70% of vegetation on public land is currently below minimum TFI.

In 2014/15, around two percent of vegetation on public land was burnt by bushfire or planned burning while below minimum TFI.

Over the past decade, the overall trend in TFI status has been one of large and increasing areas being below minimum TFI. The Alpine Bushfires of 2003 and Great Divide Bushfires of 2006/07 burnt a combined total of 1.2 million hectares within the BRL. As a result, large areas of vegetation have been below minimum TFI for the past decade.  Owing to the relatively long timeframes required for the affected vegetation types to reach minimum TFI, this trend will continue for some time.

More recently, bushfires in 2014 and planned burning have added to the area of vegetation below minimum TFI.

Tolerable Fire Interval: Alpine and Greater Gippsland

Growth Stage Structure: Alpine and Greater Gippsland

Strategic Bushfire Management Planning

Strategic bushfire management planning is about bringing together land and fire managers, communities and stakeholders to develop a common understanding of bushfire risk across the landscape and determine the most appropriate management strategies and actions to reduce that risk.

We have developed a strategic bushfire management planning framework that, with the help of communities, identifies values to be protected from bushfire, assesses bushfire risk to those values and sets out strategies to manage this risk.

The first generation Strategic Bushfire Management Plans, released in 2015 described our approach to bushfire fuel management on public land.

Download a summary of the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan [PDF File - 2.8 MB]
Download a summary of the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan [MS Word Document - 76.5 KB]

Download the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan [PDF File - 4.1 MB]
Download the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan [MS Word Document - 5.0 MB]

We are now working on new strategies to manage fuels across public and private land, bringing together local knowledge and values with world-leading bushfire science and modelling capability. For more information about the Strategic Bushfire Management Planning process and how to get involved, see the Strategic Bushfire Management Planning page.