Victoria’s experience with wildfire over the last 150 years has seen the development of firefighting methods in its State’s parks and forests that are considered to be some of the most advanced and effective of their kind in the world.
Highly trained planners and firefighters, the use of the latest technology and continuous updating of equipment, techniques and methods maintain this effectiveness.
Typical suppression scenario
Following its detection, wildfire suppression on public land includes all activities that are connected with extinguishing a wildfire and making it safe.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Code of Practice for Fire Management on Public Land Revision No 1 (2006), states that the response to all wildfires on or threatening public land must be planned and conducted according to the following principles:
- wildfires to be brought under control
- control of wildfires to be given priority over all other Departmental activities
- upon detection of a wildfire, control action to be safe, fast, determined and thorough, with the primary objective of controlling the fire in the shortest possible time with due regard given to management cost objectives, environmental values and effectiveness
- fire suppression will include the provision of accurate and timely information to local communities
- where appropriate, local knowledge will be actively sought to inform incident control decisions.
Fire suppression must be carried out in accordance with an Incident Action Plan, prepared following consideration of:
- firefighter safety
- current and predicted fire behaviour
- assets and values at risk from the wildfire or suppression activities
- management objectives for the area
- resources available locally and through broader emergency arrangements
- suppression methods most appropriate to the area
- known local community concerns and interests
- cost effectiveness
- likelihood of success of alternative suppression methods.