[Opening titles: Aaron Kennedy, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Hume Region, Forest Fire Management Victoria]

[Aaron Kennedy] Safer Together is an initiative which really seeks to reduce the risk of bushfires to communities across the state.

[Text on screen] Paul King, Regional Commander Hume Region Country Fire Authority

[Paul King] Communities is first in everything we do. The second part is the fire agencies working closely together and those two components are really important in this case study that we’re looking at today.

[Aaron Kennedy] An example of the cross-agency approach is the Yackandandah Beechworth Road fuel reduction burn. It’s a great example of Forest Fire management Victoria, Parks Victoria, the CFA and Indigo Shire working together to deliver a fuel reduction outcome for local communities.

[Text on screen] Ben Merritt Community Support Officer, Ovens Fire District, Forest Fire Management Victoria

[Ben Merritt] One of the first things we needed to do on this burn was consult the adjoining landowners and ask their opinion as to whether they would like the burn on the State Forest adjoining their area, and if they would, would they like it to include some of their land.

[Text on screen] Dave McAuliffe, Landowner Yackandandah

[Dave McAuliffe] It probably all started when the Indigo fires were on, that they sort of identified that was a danger spot for going into Yack.

[Text on screen] Cath McAuliffe, Landowner Yackandandah

[Cath McAuliffe] I think we knew from our community meeting from during the indigo fires, just after that I think we knew that it was sort of an idea.


[Text on screen] A pre-burn hazard evaluation is conducted to rate the fuel loads and the risks associated with conducting the planned burn

[Text on screen] Peta Cowie, Landscape Evaluator, Hume Region, Forest Fire Management Vic

[Peta Cowie] The stringy bark is the biggest hazard here, and that burns readily, and we often will get laddering up these stringy barks and so they have the biggest risk for spotting as well, and the spotting can occur from between right at the base of the tree to 300 metres away.

That’s the biggest driver of our risk in this forest type. We would expect the fuel hazard here, we’ve assessed because of the stringy bark we’ve assessed it as very high, but once a planned burn goes through and once those stringy barks get charred, once the leaf litter gets consumed, we suspect it probably be decreased down to about a moderate so that would be a huge benefit to the Yackandandah community as a whole to, reduce that risk immediately around their town.

[Text in screen] The Beechworth-Yackandandah Rd cross-tenure burn was undertaken on Sunday 22 April 2018

[Text on screen] Mick Prendergast, Planned Burn Controller, Ovens Fire District, Forrest Fire Management Victoria

[Mick Prendergast] We were fortunate to get conditions that allowed us to get in there and treat the fuels. It’s quite, quite heavy fuel load in there so the burn went quite well at reducing the risks to the Yackandandah community.

[Music, sounds of machinery and flames]

We work closely with parks Victoria and landholders to not only plan and prepare the burn itself. But also improve the area in terms of fire access through the addition of a track extension which will allow better access into the area.

[Text on screen] An evaluation is also done to measure fuel loads post-burn

[Text on screen] Peta Cowie, Landscape Evaluator, Hume Region, Forest Fire Management Vic

[Peta Cowie] As you can see, we’ve run the burn and the fuels been treated and the fuel that was driving the main hazard at this burn was actually the stringy bark fuel and as you can see that’s all been treated now.

[Text on screen] Ben Merritt Community Support Officer, Ovens Fire District, Forest Fire Management Victoria

[Ben Merritt] We’ve achieved this burn with a large area of private property and State Forest burnt.

I would like the thank the community and adjoining landowners for their cooperation. In this burn there’s been a lot of consideration as to what the public and community want.

[Cath McAuliffe] They’re just week planned I think, just well done.

[Aaron Kennedy] Our state is one of the most bushfire prone places in the world. Bushfires don’t care about public land boundaries, whether state forest, national park, or somebody’s backyard.

[Paul King] Fire agencies working together to reduce that fuel using the resources of the fire agencies is a really important way to protect communities from bushfire.


[Text on screen] Authorised by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning 8 Nichoson Street, East Melbourne

Page last updated: 02/11/22