South eastern Australia, including Victoria, is among the most bushfire-prone areas in the world.

Victoria’s high bushfire risk is due to a combination of factors including increasing population density in fire-prone areas.

Major bushfires can lead to loss of life and injury, damage to key state infrastructure such as electricity transmission lines, water supply assets and transport links.

Additionally, fast moving grass fires in metro/rural interface environments, structure fires in urban environments, and mine fires caused by fires in nearby bushland all pose their unique challenges and consequences.

Examples of significant bushfires and related fires include the 2009 Black Saturday fires, 2014 Hazelwood mine fire and more recently the 2019-20 fires which led to major reviews at state level and a Royal Commission at national level: Inquiry into the 2019–20 Victorian Fire Season and Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements respectively.

All links in the table below will open in a new window.
Publish year Assurance activity Summary Organisation
2018 Summary of investigation into DELWP breaches of planned burn control lines 2016–17 (External link) A summary of observations, findings, and recommendations into management of investigations into planned burn breaches for the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. This process has led to the improvement of DELWP’s risk assessment process for planning its bushfire fuel management on public land and its internal assurance processes. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2018 Annual Report - Implementation of recommendations on bushfire fuel management - October 2017 (External link) The second and final annual progress report on implementation of recommendations from the 2015 Review of performance targets for bushfire fuel management on public land and the 2015 Independent Investigation of the Lancefield-Cobaw Fire. The report signals the completion of the move from a hectare-based fuel reduction target, to a risk reduction target. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2017 Inquiry into Fire Season Preparedness (External link) A public inquiry into the preparation and planning undertaken for fire seasons focusing on the work of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and its agencies, including Parks Victoria.
This report considered causes of bushfire ignitions, fundamental principles of bushfire fuel management with a focus on planned burning, other bushfire mitigation measures with a focus on evacuation policies, the effect of climate change on the bushfire season and emergency management coordination arrangements with a focus on the concept of shared responsibility and relevant legislative frameworks.
Parliament of Victoria
2017 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Annual Report 2017 (External link) A progress assessment of implementation of recommendations and affirmations from the 2014 and 2015–16 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry reports. The report concluded significant progress to improve emergency planning and coordination, health outcomes and mine rehabilitation in the Latrobe Valley following the Hazelwood mine fire. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2017 Implementation of recommendations from the Review of Performance Targets for Bushfire Fuel Management on Public Land – Annual Report 2016 (External link) An annual progress report of recommendations from the review of performance targets for bushfire fuel management on public land, this report found that the move from a hectare-based fuel reduction target to a risk-reduction target had been completed. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2016 Beyond Bushfires Final Report 2010–2016 (External link) A report based on an examination of the impacts from the 2009 bushfires on community mental health, wellbeing and social relationships. The study found that although there was progressive recovery over time, evidence suggested delayed impacts on individual mental health extended five years on from the fires. Academia
2016 Audit and Quality Assurance Framework for Bushfire Management (External link) A framework to facilitate the maintenance of standards, continuous improvement and the management of risks for bushfire management activities (prevention, preparedness, fuel management, response and recovery). The framework is structured around risk, governance, continuous improvement, audit, people and capabilities, process, tools and systems and community and stakeholder management. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
2016 Review of community recovery following the 2013–14 Victorian bushfires (External link) A system-wide review to identify opportunities to improve strategies for engaging with communities and supporting community recovery following a major emergency. The review found that early consideration of characteristics of different groups within communities is critical to ensuring recovery programs are coordinated and empower community action. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2016 Review of the initial response to the 2015 Wye River – Jamieson Track fire (External link) A review of learnings from the bushfires that burned for 34 days ignited by lightning strikes in the Barwon Otway area. Government and the EMC, in collaboration with the fire responder agencies, accepted all four recommendations on good practice and fostering continuous improvement. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2016 Lancefield-Cobaw Fire - Progress Report - June 2016 (External link) The second report on DELWP’s implementation of recommendations and commitments in response to the Lancefield-Cobaw Fire, overall it found that DELWP had acted swiftly to respond to the Investigation findings and rebuild community trust. Inspector-General for Emergency Management