After an increase in unauthorised fires in Central Victoria, people are being reminded that lighting a fire on public land to reduce bushfire fuel is illegal and poses a significant risk to the community and the environment.

ffmvic ute logoDuring the last six weeks, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews responded to three fires, in the district ignited by residents attempting to burn leaves and other debris on adjoining public land to their properties.

FFMVic Murray Goldfields District Manager, Adrian Parker said “Unfortunately, all three fires were left unattended and escaped, with nearby residents having to call 000 causing FFMVic crews to be deployed to extinguish the blazes, taking them away from other critical summer preparedness activities”.

“These incidents are preventable and place firefighters, residents, the environment and surrounding communities to unnecessary risk.

“Residents are never permitted to conduct burning or slashing activities on public land, including river frontages or empty blocks near their home to improve their view.”

As part of the Victorian Government’s Safer Together approach, Forest Fire Management Victoria and the Country Fire Authority prepare a three-year Joint Fuel Management Plan to set out the actions we will conduct to reduce the bushfire risk to communities and the environment.

“Working with local communities is a key part of this to make sure everyone has their say about where and when planned burning should occur to reduce bushfire risk on both public and private land,” Mr Parker said.

Our Joint Fuel Management Program is updated annually, with the latest information available for communities to view online here:

Visit the Safer Together website to better understand how we can share responsibility and manage the bushfire risk across public and private land:

Under the Forest Act 1958, it is illegal to light fires on public land for fuel management or leave fires unattended. Maximum penalties could include a fine of $18,174, two years in jail, or both.

To report illegal burning on public land, please contact DELWP at 136 186.

To find out when and where planned burns are happening near you, go to or sign up at or call 1800 226 226.