News & Media

CFA planned burning survey

By: Owen Gooding

Category: Operational Information, Training & Recruitment

  5.29 PM 3 June, 2013

Location: General

Views: 3153

Planned burning to reduce fuel is a key way to reduce bushfire intensity, suppression resource requirements and the impact on life and property. 

Even so, as most brigades appreciate, it can be a high risk activity and it requires trained and experienced fire fighters and adequate fire fighting resources to do safely and effectively. A survey of briagdes about planned burning seeks an understanding of what's involved, and what would help brigades.

Since the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, there is significant community, government and agency interest in planned burning, and an expectation to increase the amount of planned burning conducted throughout Victoria. 

The community is familiar with planned burning by the public land managers on public land. However the area of public land accounts for only one third of the state.  For the remainder, known under the CFA Act as the Country Area of Victoria, CFA is the responsible fire authority. CFA is not a land manager which means that brigades conduct burns at the request of, and on behalf of, a land manager. Our volunteer brigades are community based, with makes planning and conducting burns more difficult to resorurce when compared to our sister agencies such as the Department of Environment & Primary Industries.

CFA brigades have a long and strong history of involvement with planned burning to protect their communities.  This is often underreported and unrecognized as part of Victoria’s overall burn effort. The level of brigade burning activity also varies greatly across the state, and is often very dependent on local relationships and partnerships.

Changes to legislation and community attitudes over the years have made it increasingly more difficult for brigades to undertake burning on their own.

There are a number of other barriers to brigade participation including volunteer availability, access to training, skills maintenance opportunities, and equipment and resourcing requirements.  There has not been an easy way for our brigades to track report or recognise their member’s involvement, and make their participation count.

To gain an understanding of these barriers, and the support volunteers would require, CFA and VFBV will be jointly conducting a study of brigade involvement. In order to get good grass roots engagement and understanding of the various issues involved the study will include surveys, focus groups and workshops.

The results of the study will be used to inform CFA programs that provide support and resources for CFA brigades involved in planned burning.

The first round of this work will be through an optional brigade survey. The survey will be conducted in June.  Workshops and focus groups will be hosted over the remaining winter months. CFA and VFBV will promote and encourage as many brigades as possible to participate. 

Make sure you have your say so to ensure our efforts are ultimately based at supporting your needs– get involved.  

Brigades will have two survey options.  One for brigades already involved in burning, and one for those with little or no involvement.   Survey closes Saturday, August 3, 2013.

Brigades with little or no involvement:

Click here to take survey

Brigades already involved:

Click here to take survey

If you need help with completing the survey or prefer a different method to the online options please talk to your BASO, VMO or VFBV District Council representatives.

Last Updated: 04 June 2013