Hume’s long-term bushfire risk regional planning target is 69%.
The figure below shows the Hume region’s bushfire risk profile for the period 1980–2020 and projected changes in bushfire risk until 2023. It shows bushfire risk in the Hume region:
- is 67% in 2019–20, and has been maintained at 67% from the end of 2018–19
- is projected to fall to 55% by 2023 if the entire Joint Fuel Management Program is implemented but would increase to 76% by 2023 without any fuel management or bushfires. This action will keep bushfire risk levels below the long-term Hume region planning target of 69%.
Priority areas for the Hume region include returning fire back into the Black Saturday fire footprint, in particular to the northern edges of the Mt Disappointment as well as a large program of landscape-scale burning in the forests of the Great Dividing Range to create a mosaic of fuel loads. Targeted burns around communities are planned across the Hume region.
Bushfire risk profile, Hume Region, 1980–2023
The figure below shows the tolerable fire interval (TFI) status of vegetation on public land in the Hume region since 1980. It shows that in 2019–20:
- about 68% of the vegetation was below minimum TFI, five percentage points more than in the previous reporting period
- the proportion of vegetation within TFI was about 20%, four percentage points less than in the previous reporting period
- the proportion of vegetation above maximum TFI has remained stable at 1%.
In 2019–20, 11% of the region’s vegetation on public land was burnt by bushfire while below minimum TFI, leading to the increase the figure shows. However, less than 1% was burnt by planned burning while below minimum TFI. This shows our bushfire management strategies are carefully considering and planning burns to reduce impacts on vegetation below minimum TFI.
TFI status of vegetation on public land, Hume region, 1980–2020
The figure below shows the growth stage structure (GSS) status of vegetation on public land in the Hume region since 1980. It shows that in 2019–20:
- about 26% of the vegetation was in the juvenile growth stage, 12 percentage points more than in the previous reporting period
- the proportion of vegetation in the adolescent growth stage was about 24%, a decrease of seven percentage points from the previous reporting period
- the proportion of vegetation in the mature growth stage was about 40%, one percentage point less than in the previous reporting period
- there was no significant change in the proportions in the old growth stage (which remained low, at 2%) and with no fire history (which remained at 11%).
GSS status of vegetation on public land, Hume region, 1980–2020
Fuel management delivery
Table 1 summarises the Hume region’s fuel management activities in 2019–20.
Table 1: Fuel management activities, Hume region, 2019–20.
No. of treatments
Area treated by planned burning:
Area treated by non-burn fuel treatments:
Total area treated to reduce bushfire risk
The prolonged dry conditions leading up to winter 2019 reduced fuel management opportunities in 2019–20. The early start to the bushfire season — there were major forest fires across the region in November — also reduced opportunities for spring and summer burns (such as ecological grassland burns). Significant rainfall events from January to June further limited planned burning opportunities.
In 2019–20, we delivered an extensive non-burn fuel treatment program, mainly slashing, mowing and hazardous tree removal. These works complement and support the delivery of the planned burning program.
We collaborated with Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation to undertake 120 ha of ecological burning in grasslands.
In February 2020, the community-based bushfire management (CBBM) area established in Clonbinane transitioned into a Country Fire Authority-led Community Fire Guard group after feedback that the community had achieved its desired CBBM outcomes.
Another highlight was the 2019 Hume Fire Ecology Forum at Winton Wetlands, which brought together planned burning practitioners and researchers.
When developing the Joint Fuel Management Plan, district and regional engagement staff engaged with stakeholders and partners including Parks Victoria, VicForests and the Country Fire Authority to coordinate cross-tenure burns on private land and in national parks.
Page last updated: 25/11/20