[Voiceover] Due to climate change bushfires have become larger, more intense. We need to evolve our thinking around our fire mitigation strategy and that means that we're looking to increase and upgrade our strategic fuel break network across Gippsland.

The fuel breaks are 40 metres in width. They can vary to 20 to 10, depending on what sort of assets or community, or value that is in the landscape that we potentially might be protecting.

[Text on screen] Lucas Bluff Regional Manager Natural Environment Program

[Lucas Bluff] So when we talk about strategic fuel breaks, although we are talking about the section of vegetation that's removed, that is the strategic fuel break, what makes them effective in intervening in the spread of bushfires is largely what happens in the surrounding area.

So, it's about the state of fuel adjoining the strategic break and it's about how the strategic break helps us manage that fuel through either planned burning or through back burning under emergency conditions.


[Kate Smith} To help make informed decisions on where to put the strategic breaks, we undertake a desktop analysis of the threat frequency on those breaks.

[Text on screen] Kate Smith Team Leader, Risk and Evaluation

[Kate Smith] The desktop analysis looks at both the fuel accumulation in the landscape, the topography, and the fire history, including both our planned burns and bushfire.

They combine that with their local operational knowledge and what has worked really well in the past during a bushfire event.

[Lucas Bluff] The modification of habitat and removal of vegetation, they can have negative impacts on plants and animals.

So, our job is to assess what those impacts can be and then to mitigate them where we can.


[Text on screen] Craig Lang Senior Lead, Strategic Fuel Breaks

[Craig Lang] In normal practices where a road line or a track is going be used for back burning, we'd have to do hazard assessments. It might take us three or four weeks to potentially put a suitable break in that we can potentially burn off.

So, it does speed up the process for us with regards to bushfire fighting.


[Text on screen] John Hamment Captain, Briagolong Fire Brigade

[John Hamment] It gives us something to work from and plan from in the future.

If you look at the protection of people's livelihoods, their homes, their assets, it means a lot to have them protected.

[Text on screen] Peter Young Farmer

[Peter Young] The climate is getting warmer and drier and we're gonna have at least as many fires if not more into the future. So I see something like this as a good mitigation to the potential of these fires escaping the forest and devastating our fences and our livestock and all our other assets we've got on farming land.


[Text on screen] Planning is underway to strengthen and expand Gippsland’s network of strategic fuel breaks.

[Text on screen] This is part of the Victorian Government’s $35m investment in strategic fuel break upgrades to reduce the risk of bushfires to the community and environment.

[Text on screen] Over the coming months, Fore Fire management Victoria will be engaging with communities where strategic fuel breaks are proposed to provide information and seek feedback.

[Text on screen] For more information about Gippsland’s strategic fuel breaks program, email or call 136 186

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Page last updated: 18/11/21