A status bar showing the action is complete
Report name
Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1
Lead agency
DELWP - Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Due date
June 2021
IGEM considers that this action has been implemented
Recommendation theme
Recommendation 7: Fuel management tools
Recommendation details

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (or the single entity referenced in Recommendation 4) lead the development and distribution of evidence-based land and fuel management tools for use by all legislated fuel management organisations to ensure a common approach to fuel management.


As part of the Risk 2.0 project, DELWP will:
•    improve methods for modelling bushfire risk over a range of weather scenarios, by June 2021,
•    develop an enhanced state-wide fuel and treatability layer by June 2021, and
•    be able to measure the effect of mechanical fuel treatments on fire behaviour by December 2020.

Summary of progress

In November 2019 DELWP commenced the Risk 2.0 project to build on bushfire research and strengthen understanding of bushfire risk.

The Risk 2.0 Project aims to:

  • improve the fundamental data and models that underpin bushfire risk modelling and the residual risk metric
  • develop risk communication products to support future community and stakeholder engagement programs to ensure measures are easily understood and can support local decision-making
  • conduct an independent expert review of the updated modelling, new performance metrics and targets
  • develop new and enhanced bushfire risk metrics
  • support the establishment of new risk targets for the fuel management program at different geographical scales. 

As part of the Risk 2.0 Project, DELWP has improved methods for modelling bushfire risk over a range of weather scenarios (refer to Action 7.1) and has developed an enhanced burnability model with treatability mapping. The mapping provides a representation of whether a location can be burnt under typical planned burn conditions.
DELWP has also developed an enhanced statewide fuel and treatability layer. At the time of reporting, the fuel and treatability layer was undergoing final testing to ensure all aspects of the model were yielding satisfactory results. 

DELWP engaged the University of Melbourne to investigate and provide an updated approach to incorporating the effects of mechanical fuel management on fire behaviour. This involved conducting monitoring in mulched areas and the development of fuel accumulation curves for mulched fuels. DELWP advised that further monitoring will be needed to enhance this approach in the future. 

IGEM notes that DELWP will be conducting an external review of Victoria’s bushfire risk modelling, new performance metrics, and targets. This review was planned to commence in June 2021 and will be delivered by October 2021 (refer to Action 9.5 on page 90 of IGEM's 2021 progress report). 

IGEM considers that although some of the models are undergoing final testing or subject to further enhancements, the underlying models have been developed and therefore considers this action complete.