[Text on screen] Seasonal Outlook 2021 – 2022

[Voice over] The future of forest management and particularly management of fires in forests is quite troubling.

[Text on screen] Geoff Conway Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Gippsland

[Geoff Conway] The research that’s available to us and the observations that we’ve made ourselves indicate a very different trend in weather conditions and impacts on forest and drying trends and so on.


[Geoff Conway] Our local planners are working very, very closely with our forest managers and local communities and other agencies to understand as best we can, how we’re going to protect people and infrastructure and just the ecology of the forest from intense fire behaviour.


[Text on screen] Ellen Dwyer Forest Fire Management Operations

[Ellen Dwyer} DELWP Gippsland has an objective to manage bushfire risk in state forests and by working with other agencies, we can understand and get a little bit more of a localised awareness of other issues that are surrounding the state forest which means we have a one tenure approach and we’re all achieving the same goal.

So, whether that’s like in Latrobe Valley working with Parks Victoria, HVP and other organisations to best deliver bushfire management strategies for the community.

And that might look like ecological burning or fuel management burning or even now Traditional Ownership burning depending on the community and the landscape that we’re working in and the objectives that that community would like to see us achieve.


[Text on screen] Summer bushfire outlook and preparation activities

[Voice over] The 2021 – 22 summer is still going to pose some significant concerns for us for fire risk.

[Geoff Conway] We have had two quite mild seasons and above average rainfall right throughout Gippsland, particularly west Gippsland, and that’s certainly eased the threat of major fire in the forest.

But we are expecting some challenging days which are going to create problems for us.

We had a really successful program of planned burning through the autumn of 2021.

We achieved over 130% of the target of what we wanted to achieve - over about 67 burns.

There’s a lot of work happening with strategic fuel breaks as well, and the government’s investing significantly in a number of major fuel breaks that will give firefighters a lot more options to tactically respond to big fire and hopefully reduce the uncontrolled spread for long distances.

The other part of it, of course, is making sure that our firefighters are ready, making sure our equipment is ready, making sure our air base is all ready, making sure water points are accessible and available to us.

All that work happens through October and November so that when the more extreme weather arrives, the firefighters are as prepared as they can be.

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Page last updated: 06/05/22