DEPI has produced a report on its fuel management activity for 2012-13: Reducing Victoria’s bushfire risk on public land. The relevant sections can be found here and here.
The report offers a four part scale of achievement:
–‘achieved to the best extent possible’
–‘not achieved but is a manageable risk’
–‘not achieved’, and
–N/A (insufficient information to tell)
The Department gives itself full marks for area burned, and ‘achieved to the best extent possible’ for its efforts to reduce bushfire risk to human life and assets.
On ecological resilience (the second major aim of the Code of Practice), the rating offered is ‘The outcome/activity has not been achieved but is a manageable risk (review process for management and/or data collection for further improvement).’ We’re not sure exactly what this means (is ecological resilience a ‘manageable risk’?) but from where we’re standing that looks a very generous mark.
A more honest rating for the Department to offer would have been N/A: ‘there is inadequate data or lack of metrics to report on this outcome at this stage.’ The post fire research listed on page 30 of the document is extremely partial and, like other research reported on this site, at a very early stage. What’s more, the Department’s latest document on risk reduction makes clear that the computer models it’s using do not take account of ecological values: these will be considered when ‘the technical difficulty of a more comprehensive analysis has been solved.’ [see our post below]