Fire and our parks
Fires have been a feature of the Australian continent ever since it broke away from the Gondwanan landmass 50 million years ago.
Today, fire is a significant public safety issue as well as an issue for our native ecosystems and the many tens of thousands of species that live within them.
Most eucalypt forests and woodlands, heathlands, grasslands and banksia woodlands have evolved to be dependent on occasional fire in many ways.
But different ecosystems have different responses to fire. Some, such as alpine areas, are not fire dependent and others, like rainforests, are damaged or destroyed by fire.
Climate change will bring more frequent and intense bushfires to Victoria, as our weather becomes warmer and drier and lightening storms increase.
This has clear implications for public safety, and for our biodiversity. Sadly, the impacts these changes will have on our ecosystems and the many tens of thousands of species that live within them remain scarcely understood.
Fire Operations Plans 2012
The VNPA made a number of submissions to proposed planned burning operations to be carried out three years through to 2015.
We argue that 5% statewide burn target confounds good fire planning, and in some cases significantly affects biodiversity. We also point out that the Department of Sustainability and Environment is not providing enough information to the public to allow informed comment on planned burning operations.
| North East Region|
North West Region
Port Phillip Region
| South East Region|
South Wast Region
Victoria's fuel reduction burning history
Official reports of planned burning on public land in Victoria go back to the 1930s. They show that the statewide target recommended by the Bushfires Royal Commission is unprecedented in Victoria's history.
Royal Commission into the 2009 fires
Planned burns and clearing will not stop catastrophic fire events
A report commissioned by the Victorian National Parks Association and other major environmental groups has found that burns did not significantly slow the spread of bushfire in the catastrophic conditions of Black Saturday.
More to learn about fire before setting a burn-off target
VNPA parks protection officer Phil Ingamells writes in The Age newspaper about the vexed issue of fuel-reduction burning.