Bushfire risk profile, Alpine and Greater Gippsland Bushfire Risk Landscape, 1980-2021
Bushfire risk in Alpine and Greater Gippsland
The Alpine and Greater Gippsland BRL risk profile for the period 1980–2018, and projected changes in bushfire risk until 2021. It shows that:
- in 2017-18, bushfire risk in the landscape was 52%
- bushfire risk fell sharply after major bushfires in the early 1980s and then increased as fuel slowly re-accumulated
- bushfire risk fell again in the period 2003–10 to historically low levels after major bushfires in alpine areas
- planned burning and large bushfires in 2013 and 2014 kept bushfire risk down but it has since increased as fuel has re-accumulated in bushfire-affected areas
- we project that implementing our fuel management strategy on public land will keep bushfire risk below the levels seen before the 2003 and 2006–07 bushfires
- fuel management activities on the FOP will reduce risk to a projected 50%, but without any fuel management, we project bushfire risk will increase to 74% by 2021.
Valuing our environment
Tolerable fire interval across Alpine and Greater Gippsland
The figure below shows the tolerable fire interval (TFI) status of the vegetation on public land in the Alpine and Greater Gippsland BRL for the period 2007–18.
The figure shows that in 2017–18 about 66% of the vegetation was below minimum TFI. It also shows that over the past four years, the proportion of vegetation below minimum TFI has been about the same until 2018 where we see a 5% decrease in area below minimum TFI. During 2017–18, only 1.2% of the vegetation in the landscape was burnt while below minimum TFI. This shows that our fire management strategies are carefully considering and planning our burns to reduce the impacts on vegetation below minimum TFI.
TFI status of public land vegetation, Alpine and Greater Gippsland BRL, 2007–18
Growth stage structure across Alpine and Greater Gippsland
The figure below shows the growth stage structure (GSS) status of the vegetation on public land in the Alpine and Greater Gippsland BRL for the period 2007–18.
The figure shows about 56% of the landscape was in the juvenile and adolescent growth stages in 2017–18. The landscape will have a large proportion of young vegetation for some time because it can take decades for many types of vegetation to move through the growth stages after significant fire disturbance.
The relatively low proportion of vegetation in the mature and old growth stages is a legacy of the 2006–07 bushfires. In recent years, the proportion of vegetation in the landscape in these growth stages has stabilised at about 23%. However, in 2017-18 an increase to about 35% was observed, as substantial areas of fire-affected vegetation in the Alpine and Greater Gippsland reached reproductive maturity. Maintaining older vegetation growth stages in the landscape is important for many reasons, such as to provide habitat for animal species that rely on hollow-bearing trees or on coarse, woody debris.
GSS status of public land vegetation, Alpine and Greater Gippsland BRL, 2007–18
A large proportion of this landscape has no recorded fire history. Nothing can be inferred about the TFI and GSS of public land with no recorded fire history.