Monitoring, evaluation and reporting in the Grampians 2017-2018

Our monitoring, evaluation and reporting program priorities in 2017–18 were monitoring to determine how effectively fuel-management activities reduce risk to life and property, and expanding our environmental monitoring program.

We conducted fire-severity mapping for all planned burns over 5 ha, and we used the data to update our fire history mapping. It enables us to model changes in fuel loads across the landscape and determine effects on ecosystem health.

We took a total of 285 overall fuel hazard (OFH) assessments before and after planned burns to assess their effectiveness in reducing fuel hazard. We monitored a total of 26 burns.

We assessed 1,200 sites for OFH as part of a pilot project which aims to assess the best method for improving the fuel accumulation models used in Phoenix Rapidfire. The fuel type being assessed in the pilot study is forest with shrub. This fuel type is found around Daylesford, Hepburn and Ararat — all high-risk locations — and current modelling does not appear to accurately reflect fuels that remain after a fire. We are currently analysing the data.

We started a program to assess the effects of planned burns on Brush-tailed phascogales in the Hepburn–Daylesford area. We mapped tree hollows and used camera traps to determine the presence of phascogales before and after the burn. We intend to expand this program, to assess the effects of planned burns on Greater gliders. We are also working with the Barwon South West region to develop species response curves for flora and fauna in the fire-dependent northern range of the Red-tailed black cockatoo.

During the year, we also assessed and reported on canopy scorch in planned burns in Red-tailed black cockatoo habitat in the Wimmera district. We collated this figure with figures from the Far South West district to get an overall scorch figure for Red-tailed black cockatoo habitat on public land in Victoria.

Page last updated: 19/10/18