The 2013-14 fire season in Victoria was one of significance, challenging both emergency management organisations and communities. Among 78 significant fires were the Goongerah-Deddick Trail and the Mt Ray-Boundary Track fires in East Gippsland.
In response to community concerns and as part of established debriefing and observation collection processes, the Emergency Management Commissioner and the emergency management sector compiled or contributed to the following three reports related to the 2013-14 fire season:
- Post Season Operations Review Fire Danger Period 2013-14 (Post Season Operations Review)
- Goongerah-Deddick Trail Fire January-March 2014 Community Report
- Mt Ray-Boundary Track Fire January-March 2014 Community Report.
All three reports identified opportunities for improvement through specific actions for the emergency management sector.
On 4 August 2014, government requested that the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) investigate and prepare a compliance report on the progress and implementation of identified actions from the 2013-14 fire season reports. The identified actions related to:
- road traffic management
- community involvement in fire preparedness, response and recovery
- initial attack and utilisation of resources
- cross border fire arrangements
- other systemic issues identified from the 2013-14 fire season reports.
As part of the process, agencies and organisations were requested to provide IGEM with evidence to substantiate progress made in implementing the actions. Relevant stakeholders within the sector and communities in East Gippsland were consulted prior to finalisation of the report.
IGEM wishes to acknowledge the participation and assistance of communities in East Gippsland, the Country Fire Authority, Department of Environment and Primary Industries, East Gippsland Shire Council, Emergency Management Victoria, Municipal Association of Victoria, NSW Rural Fire Service and Victoria Police in the preparation of this report.
The 2013-14 Fire Season Compliance Report was published on 13 October 2014.
The 2013-14 Fire Season Compliance Report and the 2013-14 Fire Season Compliance Report - Executive Summary are available below.