Bushfire risk

Grampians' long-term bushfire risk regional planning target is 70%.

The figure below shows the Grampians region’s bushfire risk profile for the period 1980–2020 and projected changes in bushfire risk until 2023. It shows bushfire risk in the Grampians region:

  • is 75% in 2019–20, an increase of six percentage points from 69% at the end of 2018–19
  • is projected to fall to 58% by 2023 if the entire Joint Fuel Management Program is implemented but would increase to 81% by 2023 without any fuel management or bushfires. This will keep bushfire risk levels below the long-term Grampians region planning target of 70%.

Priority areas for planned burning and mechanical fuel management include the forested areas between Ballarat, Castlemaine, Macedon and Bacchus Marsh. Mechanical fuel treatments will continue to be used in the difficult gullies and fingers of forest prevalent in and around Hepburn Springs and Daylesford. In addition, planned burning is continuing to be returned into the Grampians National Park to support the development of a mosaic of fuels and reduce the likelihood of large-scale fires from occurring again.

Bushfire risk profile, Grampians Region, 1980–2023

Ecosystem resilience

The figure below shows the tolerable fire interval (TFI) status of vegetation on public land in the Grampians region since 1980. It shows that in 2019–20:

  • about 47% of the vegetation was below minimum TFI, about 21% was within TFI, and 2% was above maximum TFI, which was no significant change from the previous reporting period
  • the proportion of vegetation with no fire history also remained the same at 29%.

In 2019–20, less than 1% of the vegetation was burnt by bushfires or planned burning while below TFI. This is the result of strategic fuel management planning which aims to minimise the burning of vegetation while below minimum TFI.

TFI status of vegetation on public land, Grampians region 1980–2020

The figure below shows the growth stage structure (GSS) status of vegetation on public land in the Grampians region since 1980. It shows that:

  • there was no significant change in the proportions in each growth stage in 2019–20 from the previous reporting period with about 5% in the juvenile growth stage, about 24% in the adolescent growth stage, about 36% in the mature growth stage and 6% in the old growth stage
  • the proportion of vegetation with no fire history also remained the same at 29%.

GSS status of vegetation on public land, Grampians region 1980–2020

Fuel management delivery

The Grampians region had a very busy 2019–20, which saw the team continue to deliver a large fuel management program in the Wimmera and Midlands fire districts despite seasonal conditions that limited burning opportunities. Table 1 summarises the region’s fuel management activities in 2019–20.

Table 1: Fuel management activities, Grampians region, 2019–20

Fuel reduction

No. of treatments


Area treated by planned burning:

  • ecological burns: 211 ha (3 burns)
  • fuel reduction burns: 8,177 ha (34 burns)
  • other burns: 11 ha (2 burns)


Area treated by non-burn fuel treatments:

  • mechanical mulching: 184 ha (17 treatments)
  • mechanical slashing or mowing: 2930 ha (298 treatments)
  • other methods: 7 ha (1 treatment)


Total area treated to reduce bushfire risk



In 2019–20 there were limited opportunities for planned burning in spring 2019, as underlying conditions were dry. The autumn planned burning program started early, with suitable conditions for small asset-protection burns near Beaufort and Daylesford, but then two significant rainfall events in the region’s east restricted burning opportunities in this area.

In 2019–20, the region undertook a mechanical fuel treatment program to reduce bushfire risk in towns and forested areas. This included the annual slashing and mowing program of township blocks, along strategic roads and around forest blocks, in preparation for the bushfire season.

Wimmera fire district and local Traditional Owners Barengi Gadjin Land Council continued to work together during 2019–20. In the east of the region, the partnership with Wadawurrung Aboriginal Corporation was further developed, which will see cultural burning introduced at Lake Burrumbeet and other areas.

Wimmera fire district hosted the 48th Little Desert and 30th Grampians Fire Conferences during 2019. At these field days, representatives of FFMVic, the Country Fire Authority, Victoria Police, local governments and communities came together to discuss the upcoming fire season and the fuel management program.

Traditional community engagement activities were limited in autumn 2020. Instead, we increased our emphasis on social media, using Facebook and Twitter as the main means of informing communities about our fuel management program.

Page last updated: 25/11/20