[Text on screen] Forest Fire Management Victoria Otway District. Fuel management mulching program

[Text on screen] Aaron Leddon Ranger in Charge, Fire & Emergency Forest Fire Management Victoria

[Aaron Leddon] In early 2020, Forest Fire Management Victoria or FFMVic became a program of mulching work to reduce bushfire risk in and around local townships.

After a four-year trial the program was rolled out more broadly over the Otway District

Areas targeting included Wye River and Kennett River. They were identified in conjunction with community members in the aftermath of the 2015 Wye River fire.

Also included were areas around North Lorne which included some steep slopes.

Works were also conducted along the Great Ocean Road in areas around Anglesea.

Flammable vegetation was mulch to reduce fuel loads,

The work is targeted. It avoids large established trees and focuses in on dense ground vegetation.

Crews use a range of specialty equipment from forest mulchers, through to excavators with special mulching heads. This equipment allows us to work in a whole range of different environments including really steep slopes up to about 45 degrees.

The spider excavator is amazing piece of equipment. It allows us to operate in areas 10 years ago we didn't think was possible. It is able to move through the landscape on basically extended legs and it's very stable in steep terrain.

Mulching really complements other fuel management activities such as planned burning. The beauty of mulching is it can be conducted all year round.

Mulching and plan burning are all about reducing bushfire intensity, leading to less fuel, and enhancing our ability to contain fires. This lessens the impact on people, property and the environment.

This work is one of the key actions out of the strategic bushfire management plan for the Barwon Otway region.


[Text on screen] Jamie Mackenzie community member, Anglesea

[Jamie Mackenzie] When you get close to the houses particularly in this sort of environment the risks are a little bit, well they're elevated quite a bit, and this method allows us to reduce that fuel to actually give them some good distance to be able to actually conduct the fuel reduction burns and the other programs that they run.

[Text on screen] Andrew Hack CFA Captain, Wye River

[Andrew Hack] Machinery such as this basically means you can work you know virtually 12 months in a year and so the freedom to be able to carry out larger amounts of work over extensive areas around these vulnerable townships is really important.

[Jamie Mackenzie] We talk about true consultation. We're into the ground floor on all discussions and all that happens to help protect our town and I think that's just something that we just, I think, is just one of the strengths of the whole thing.

[Music and machinery sounds]

[Aaron Leddon] As it becomes harder to find windows of weather to safely conduct clan burning it's important we use a range of methods to reduce the bushfire risk. Mulching is safe and effective way to target and treat forest fuels particularly when there are homes or businesses in close proximity.


[Text on screen] Prior to mulching work


[Text on screen] After mulching work


[Forest Fire management logo]


Page last updated: 29/10/21