The 2019-2020 Forest Fires - Eastern Victoria

Tony Bartlett (bio)

In accordance with Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) processes, a review of the impact of forest fires in Eastern Victoria on RFA values was undertaken. I was a member of the panel of three which conducted the review between March 2021 and March 2022. The report is available via the link below.

I prepared a presentation containing key elements of the report which included:

  • Across Victoria, 1.5m ha was burnt, including 1.39m ha of forested land (both parks and state forest).
  • There were major impacts on 3 RFA regions: East Gippsland, Gippsland and the North-East.
Within the East Gippsland RFA Region:
  • 1.21m ha was burnt including 1.05m ha of public land. They were the most extensive and severe bushfires ever to occur in this region. (Compare with the 253,000 ha. burnt in January to March 1983.)
  • 441,800 ha was burnt at high severity.
Two key conclusions of the review were:
  • Victoria’s public land management planning is not well integrated, with most management plans 25-30 years old and poorly connected with recent bushfire management strategies, especially for the protection of environmental values.
  • Current forest and fire management strategies are ineffective in limiting bushfire impacts on many important RFA values, including old growth, threatened species and fire sensitive communities

The presentation is available via the link below:


See Also

Fire Management Challenges 2021