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
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 Lancefield-Cobaw Fire - October 2015 Report of Community Observations and Response to Independent Investigation Auxiliary Report (External link) An independent investigation into the Lancefield planned burn and subsequent bushfire that escaped containment lines, it documents issues raised by community members and outlines treatment options for addressing gaps in performance or sustaining good practice with relevant organisations. Emergency Management Victoria
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 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 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
2016 Lancefield-Cobaw Fire - Progress Report - August 2016 (External link) The third and final report on DELWP’s implementation of recommendations and commitments in response to the Lancefield-Cobaw Fire. The 3 remaining recommendations were to be implemented as part of Safer Together, the government’s new approach to reducing the risk of bushfire in Victoria. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2016 2013–14 Fire Season Compliance Report – 2016 Final Progress Update (External link) Final progress report on the implementation of identified actions from three 2013–14 fire season reports; these actions related to improvements to road traffic management, community involvement, initial attack and utilisation of resources, cross-border fire arrangements and other systemic issues. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2016 Summary of investigations into breaches of planned burn control lines (1 January to 30 June 2016) (External link) A summary of IGEM’s observations of investigations into breaches of control lines by planned burns conducted by DELWP during the period 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2016, that focuses on the observations and opportunities for continuous improvement. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2016 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry 2015-16 (External link) In 2014 the Victorian Government held the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry from February to September 2014. This inquiry was reopened on 26 May 2015 with a new Terms of Reference to examine a range of new issues including what measures are available to improve the health of the Latrobe Valley communities in relation to any health impacts identified by the Board as being associated with the Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire. Board of Inquiry into the Hazelwood Mine Fire
2016 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission - 2016 Progress Report (External link) An assessment of the implementation of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations and actions addressing a broad range of issues including community warnings, shelter options, emergency management governance and incident management, powerline safety, planning and building, and land and fuel management. Inspector-General for Emergency Management