Characteristics

  • A quarter of Victoria's population
  • Expanding communities increase demand for isolated lifestyle properties
  • Large population close to forested areas
  • Diverse ecological values including Box Ironbark and the Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar wetlands
  • Only a third of the landscape is treatable by planned burning

Fuel Management

  • Fuel management undertaken for the greatest risk reduction for priority communities and infrastructure
  • Planned burning more intensely around communities that are at high risk like Daylesford-Hepburn Springs area
  • Slashing on small isolated parcels of public land which are impractical to burn

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 West Central landscape, residual risk is currently at around 69%.

Residual risk peaked at 86% in 2003 and has steadily declined since then. This is mainly due to an increase in the level of planned burning, particularly in high-risk areas of the landscape.

In recent years, reduced opportunities for planned burning have led to an increase in residual risk.

Residual risk is projected to decrease to 62% by 2021 as planned burning scheduled in the joint fuel management program is carried out. Without planned burning, residual risk would rapidly return to over 79% by 2021.

Residual risk

Figure 1: Residual risk profile, West Central 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 and Vegetation Growth Stage Structure are used as indicators of ecosystem resilience at a landscape level. These allow us to better understand ecosystem resilience and the impacts of fire.

Current and historic Tolerable Fire Interval and Vegetation Growth Stage Structures for West Central landscape are available in the Fuel Management Report

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 - 2.0 MB]
Download a summary of the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan [MS Word Document - 81.3 KB]

Download the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan [PDF File - 3.4 MB]
Download the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan [MS Word Document - 2.8 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.

Page last updated: 18/12/2018