Alpine Fires 2003
|The Victorian Alpine Fires of January - March 2003 burnt more than 1 milion hectares of Victoria's State Forests and National Parks, along with some private land. The maps below are part of a suite of maps developed by DSE that show the immediate impact of the fires and the subsequent recovery of the environment.|
Map 1: Fire Severity
This map depicts fire severity across the extent of the Victorian Alpine Fires 2003. It provides a reliable strategic management dataset to interpret fire effects.
- Small Map: 137 KB (rescaled to fit on A4 but without detail) - opens in new window
- Medium Map: 2.6MB, 90 dpi - opens in new window
- Large Map: 6.3 MB, 150 dpi - opens in new window
Map 2: Land Tenure
This map depicts the primary legal land tenure status across the extent of the Victorian Alpine Fires 2003. Tenure classes depicted are summarised as National Park and Reserves, State forest, Alpine Resort (Mt Hotham and Falls Creek), plantations and Freehold. This map does not show the management authority for public land. The analysis data is as extracted from the DSE Corportate Geospatial Data Library on 4 July 2003.
- Small Map: 104 KB (rescaled to fit on A4 but without detail) - opens in new window
- Medium Map: 1.7 MB, 90 dpi - opens in new window
- Large Map - opens in new window
Map 3: Forest Type
This map depicts forest type across the extent of the Victorian Alpine Fires 2003. It is a simplified grouping that provides a broad overview of vegetation affected by the fires. Forest type is primarily sourced from the "EUCGROUP" grouping of species from DSE Statewide Forest Resource Inventory (SFRI) mapping. Where SFRI species mapping is unavailable, supplementary sources of structural vegetation mapping are used from other DSE treecover and structural vegetation datasets.
- Small Map: 107 KB (rescaled to fit on A4 but without detail) - opens in new window
- Medium Map: 1.9 MB, 90 dpi - opens in new window
- Large Map: 5.5 MB, 150 dpi - opens in new window
The subject of this fire severity analysis is a large contiguous area of eastern and north-eastern Victoria burnt during the period 8 January 2003 to 7 March 2003. It includes some smaller outbreaks in the vicinity of the main fire, but does not include some other fires that occurred during the same period such as those near Beechworth and Stanley. We have not attempted to validate fire extent or severity in New South Wales.
The mapped fire extent is an operational fire boundary used for fire suppression by Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) as at 24 February 2003. This operational fire boundary is based on a composite of information sources obtained at the time including aerial infrared, multispectral scanner and satellite image interpretation, nominated control lines such as roads and firebreaks, and aerial and ground visual observations.
Most of the fire extent was burnt during January and early February, so the outer boundary does not alter substantially after this date. Detailed fire severity mapping based on aerial photograph interprtation, large-scale remote sensing and field observation may contribute to further refinement of the fire boundary.
Fire Severity Analysis
During the course of the fires, fire behaviour and intensity varied depending on a range of conditions such as wind, temperature, relative humidity, forest type, fuel loads, drought effect and topography. Across this mosaic, environmental effects and asset losses vary, providing a complex set of circumstances on which to base bushfire recovery operations and future planning.
Fire severity analysis provides essential information to study these behaviours, assess environmental effects and asset losses, and assist planning with bushfire recovery operations. To assist these processes, the Government of Victoria, through DSE, initiated a fire severity analysis across the extent of the Victorian Alpine Fires 2003. Using remote sensing and field validation, different severity classes, indicative of fire intensity, were defined across the forested and grassed landscape.