News & Media

Planned burns, Level 3 IMT, Challenge 2014

By: Euan Ferguson

  11.00 AM 23 May, 2013

Views: 3165

Increasing CFA's Involvement In Planned Burning:
The Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission recommended that planned burning increase to 5% of all public land across the state (390,000 ha per annum).

Project Manager Zoe Toogood advises about a project (with VFBV and DEPI) aimed to increase CFA participation in planned burns. This will provide opportunities to extend CFA involvement in planned burns to areas that are not necessarily close to communities but provide for significant community protection as well as to increase participation in local burns. CFA Vegetation Management Officers are a key to provide planning support for local brigades and link them with DEPI and other partners and local government. Interim figures for the autumn burning season show that CFA has assisted DEPI with:

• more than 97 planned burns (approx. 17,500 ha) on public land across the state. (This is approximately 23% of the 422 planned burns undertaken by DEPI over this period). 
• CFA's support has been provided through 177 brigades providing a total of 191 tankers; 77 slip-ons; and 736 crew.

CFA's current capacity to capture and report on planned burning data needs improving. We are upgrading of CFA's Fire and Incident Reporting System (FIRS) and the piloting of a new GIS system to map, plan, report and track vegetation management treatments (including planned burning). An interim Resource Request System was introduced in April 2013 in an effort to formalise DEPI requests for CFA personnel for planned burns on public land.

Additional actions for the future include a survey of the availability and attitudes of CFA volunteers to planned burning; consultation with various CFA and DEPI personnel on the issues and opportunities for increased involvement in planned burning; and consideration of the legislative framework and operational risk associated with increased planned burning. The project steering committee includes CFA, DEPI and VFBV.

Challenge 2014:
Manager Training Delivery Craig Ferguson has circulated information about the Challenge 2014. Challenge is an annual 12-day leadership development program specifically designed to maximise participant involvement and leadership skill development through team building activities; a personal development program and adventure based activities. In my discussions with CFA members who have participated in Challenge in previous years, many say that it was a "life changing experience". Challenge 2014 will run from Saturday 11 January to Wednesday 22 January 2014.Challenge 2014 brochures have been sent to Brigade secretaries. Challenge application forms, application guidelines and the brochure can all be found on Brigades Online and the Intranet at Docs, Forms, Manuals > Training > Challenge - Leadership Development Program or by searching for "Challenge". A copy of the brochure and poster are also attached to this email. Applications must be submitted to the applicant's Brigade Captain by Friday 26 July 2013.

Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Forum:
Following the great success of events held in Macedon and Creswick over the past two years, the CFA Community Engagement and Fire Awareness State Forum is back for 2013. It aim is to encourage members from around the State to share community engagement experience and local fire safety initiatives. This year's forum will include workshops and presentations on planned burning and vegetation management as well as volunteerism issues. A large focus will be support to brigade members wishing to learn more about the Community Safety Coordinator role to be integrated on to Brigade Management Teams in line with the new Brigade and Membership Classification changes. The date is Saturday/Sunday 3/4 August at the All Seasons Hotel, Bendigo: Register at: by Monday 17 June 2013.

Graduation Of Level 3 Incident Management Team Personnel:
Along with DCO John Haynes, Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley and DEPI Chief Fire Officer Alan Goodwin, I attended a ceremony to mark the "graduation" and accreditation of over 40 Level 3 IMT personnel. CFA staff and volunteers, and staff from DEPI, Parks Vic, Melbourne Water attended.

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen."
- Ernest Hemingway


Last Updated: 10 December 2015