VicForests’ role in safeguarding its communities through bushfire mitigation
25 February 2022
Bushfire is a significant threat to Victorians and our forests. VicForests is committed to the mitigation and suppression of fires to protect communities, assets and environmental and cultural values.
And while the 2021-22 summer has so far been a milder bushfire season compared to recent summers, there is still a need for vigilance among residents and authorities, with VicForests a key player in bushfire mitigation.
Using our forestry expertise and skills, equipment, and technical and local knowledge, VicForests contributes to the Victorian Government’s bushfire management, response and recovery actions across Victoria. This includes conduct of managed high intensity burns, from which key operational staff hone their bushfire fighting skills.
As a partner agency of Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic), the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water, we work closely with the Country Fire Authority, other emergency services and local communities to help protect our people, property and iconic flora and fauna.
Our foresters have a broad range of fire roles and expertise including operational firefighting, incident management and future bushfire mitigation and prevention, including supporting DELWP with fuel reduction burns throughout the year to help reduce the risk of bushfires spreading.
There are also occasions when we take part in bushfire mitigation in times of active fire.
For example, our foresters and contractors contributing to the establishment of a strategic firebreak between Cowwarr and Bruthen during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires.
During these fires, our people also assumed technical support roles at the Incident Control Centre (ICC) and assisted DELWP in their bushfire management processes.
The ability for our foresters and contractors to undertake this often-dangerous work comes through rigorous training. We currently have 36 accredited, trained, fit and ready staff to be deployed to fire incidents anywhere across the state.
Our foresters’ extensive fire experience and preparedness also extends to the more than 100 pieces of technical and heavy machinery that our 30 fire-ready contracting businesses and their 140 workers have available to combat active bushfires and mitigate future events.
We cherish the areas and their respective communities in which we operate, and our work in bushfire management and prevention underpins our commitment to help protect the people and places we care about.