Monitoring, evaluation and reporting in Port Phillip 2017-2018

2017–18 was the third year of implementing our monitoring, evaluation and reporting plan.

During the year, we used fire-severity mapping to update our fire history layers, to inform ecological modelling and our understanding of fire behaviour. Fire-severity mapping activities included:

  • capturing aerial imagery of 3,694 ha for five burns: three in Yarra district over 3,577 ha and two in Metropolitan district over 117 ha
  • on-ground mapping
  • coordination with Gippsland region to capture aerial imagery of burns, resulting in images of 11 burns over a total 5,315 ha in three regions — Port Phillip, Gippsland and Hume —and four fire districts — Yarra, Metropolitan, Latrobe and Murrindindi.

To assess overall fuel hazard (OFH) as part of pre- and post-burn monitoring in autumn 2017, we monitored 14 burns at 245 sites.

Collaborating with Federation University, we completed a research project that saw an industry-based-placement student investigate over six months the link between fire severity and OFH after planned burning in the Port Phillip and Gippsland regions.

We held four training workshops to build capacity and skills to conduct OFH assessments with the Fuel Hazard Collector app, assess fire severity, do digital mapping of burns using aerial imagery and use ArcMap and mapping software programs. The training was for our staff, partner agencies and CSIRO.

The Port Phillip Forest and Fire Planning team hosted a science and planning forum for over 70 staff from Forest Fire Management Victoria, local governments and research organisations to learn about fire ecology projects and biodiversity across three regions and four fire districts.

We supported the implementation of an Arthur Rylah Institute project to monitor the effects of fire severity on the recruitment of Hairpin banksia. This followed on from previous work to better understand the species' seed production and seedling recruitment, which will improve our understanding of optimal fire intervals.

The findings of ecosystem resilience projects involving Smoky mouse and a small-mammal pilot study contributed to a research project with La Trobe University. The final report, published in May 2018, made recommendations about monitoring ecosystem resilience across the state and in regions.

During the year, we expanded the strategic bushfire risk analysis for the Leadbeater’s possum, identifying areas suitable for planned burning that would reduce the bushfire risk to the possum and its habitat.

Page last updated: 19/10/18