The Yarra Valley is considered to be the second worst region in the world for bushfires.
The Yarra Waterways Group believes the re-vegetation of thousands of hectares of public land (in the populated areas of the Yarra Valley) will threaten the safety of our community and our environment.
For more details please see the information, documents and maps below.
Below are quotes from the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan (East Central bushfire risk landscape) produced by the Victorian Government in 2014.
‘ Warburton Valley bushfire catchment: The Warburton Valley bush fire catchment contains almost 28% of the risk to life and property in our landscape. High- risk towns in this catchment extend from Warburton east to Reefton, west to Seville East, north to Healesville and south to Powelltown. Most towns have large areas of forest to their north and east, with some completely surrounded by forest. Most forested areas are ash forest and cannot be treated by planned burning. The worst bush fires start in a large, wide band between Pheasant Creek and Yarra Junction. Most of the catchment (except towns to the west, such as Seville East) has extremely high levels of convection, and bushfire intensities are very high through the catchment.’
We also quote part of the Introduction from the same document:
‘ Established under the Conservation Forests and Lands Act 1987, the Code of Practice for Bushfire Management on Public Land 2012 spells out how we will manage bushfire risk on public land. The code’s two primary objectives are to:
- minimise the impact of major bushfires on human life, communities, essential and community infrastructure, industries, the economy and the environment: human life will be afforded priority over all other considerations.
- maintain or improve the resilience of natural ecosystems and their ability to deliver services such as biodiversity, water, carbon storage and forest products.’
The YWG believes creating wide corridors of dense bushland (hundreds of meters wide in areas) will change the current riparian environment from a minor risk to a major threat. These forest corridors will connect many major towns and heavily vegetated residential areas in the Yarra Valley with the fire prone Yarra State Forest, Yarra Ranges National Park, Dandenong Ranges, Bunyip State Park, Conservation Reserves and Private Bushland. These forest corridors will be planted along the Yarra River, Little Yarra River, Woori Yallock Creek, Badger Creek, Don River, Dee River, Britannia Creek, Hoddles Creek, McCrea Creek, Menzies Creek, Emerald Creek and Cockatoo Creek skirting or crossing many of the major roads in the area (used as escape routes during fires).