Bushfire risk profile, West Central Bushfire Risk Landscape, 1980–2021
Bushfire risk in West Central
The West Central BRL risk profile for the period 1980–2018, and projected changes in bushfire risk until 2021. It shows that:
- In 2017–18, reduced opportunities for planned burning led to an increase in bushfire risk to 69%.
- Bushfire risk fell sharply in 1983 after the Ash Wednesday bushfires, which caused large losses of life and property in the Mt Macedon area.
- Bushfire risk steadily increased after the Ash Wednesday fires as fuel re-accumulated across the landscape, peaking at 86% in 2003 before steadily falling, due to an increased and more strategic planned burning program, to a low of 58% in 2015.
- Fuel management activities on the FOP will reduce risk to a projected 62%, but without any fuel management, we project bushfire risk will increase to 79% by 2021.
Valuing our environment
Tolerable fire interval across West Central
The figure below shows the tolerable fire interval (TFI) status of vegetation on public land in the West Central BRL for the period 2007–18.
The figure shows that in 2017–18 about 28% of the vegetation in the landscape was below minimum TFI. The proportion of vegetation below minimum TFI has increased over the last decade, from about 23% in 2007. In 2017–18, a small (about 434 ha) area of the vegetation was burnt by bushfires or planned burning while below minimum TFI. This shows our strategic fuel management planning is resulting in carefully considered planned burning to reduce impacts on vegetation below minimum TFI.
TFI status of public land vegetation, West Central BRL, 2007–18
Growth stage structure across West Central
The figure below shows the growth stage structure (GSS) status of vegetation on public land in the West Central BRL for the period 2007–18.
The figure shows 29% of the landscape was in the juvenile and adolescent growth stages in 2017–18, and about 25% was in the older (mature and old) growth stages. The proportion of vegetation in the younger growth stages (juvenile and adolescent) has increased over the last decade from 15% to 29% currently. This rise in the proportion of younger vegetation is due to more planned burning, particularly in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
GSS status of public land vegetation, West Central BRL, 2007–18
A small 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.