Monitoring, evaluation and reporting in Gippsland 2017-2018

Our priorities in the second year of implementing our monitoring, evaluation and reporting plan were to monitor the reduction of risk to life and property through overall fuel hazard (OFH) assessments and fire-severity mapping and to continue developing the ecosystem resilience monitoring program.

Staff from all four districts — Snowy, Tambo, La Trobe and Macalister — were involved in monitoring activities including more OFH assessments. We continued developing the ecosystem resilience monitoring program, initiating new projects to investigate the fire management needs of various animal and plant species.

During the year, we continued to invest in OFH assessment as part of our pre- and post-burn monitoring in autumn 2018. Gippsland monitored 11 burns and did pre-burn assessments of 135 sites. Across the four districts, we conducted OFH assessments at four planned burns at 60 sites.

We completed a several fire-severity mapping projects across Gippsland. These included:

  • Port Phillip district coordinated with Gippsland district to deliver aerial imagery of burns, resulting in images across a combined total of 5,315 hectares and 11 burns covering three regions — Port Phillip, Gippsland and Hume — and four fire districts — Yarra, Metropolitan, Latrobe and Murrindindi
  • capturing aerial imagery of about 20,500 ha in Port Phillip to map and digitise the fire severity of 17 burns including: three burns over 12,425 ha in the Snowy district, seven burns over 1,445 ha in the Tambo district and seven burns over about 2,000 ha in the Macalister district.
  • Latrobe district burns, which were captured by Port Phillip district this year as per contract arrangements.
  • on-ground mapping of fire severity across five smaller burns, mostly in Macalister district.

We conducted a pre- and post-burn monitoring project of the New Holland mouse, to inform fire management practices in suitable habitat. This project collected information about two separate populations of the mouse, at Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park and Providence Ponds. The project is running parallel to two other projects collecting information about the New Holland mouse: a PhD project and our fox-baiting program. The program is continuing in 2018–19.

We did fieldwork from November 2017 to January 2018 on our Banksia canei project. Contractors did the fieldwork and the report, which is due shortly, was written by the Arthur Rylah Institute. The project aims to better understand key attributes of the species, compare the attribute information to fire management zoning and the species’ tolerable fire interval and assess the risk to the species of the current management regime. The program is continuing in 2018–19.

We undertook mitigation checks of the implementation and effectiveness of mitigation measures through the fire operations planning process, initially for biodiversity values and cultural values. We began to develop a process to shift from a desktop process to a field-based process. The program is continuing in 2018–19.

Page last updated: 19/10/18