The 2019/20 summer fires were some of the largest and most environmentally destructive fires ever seen in Victoria. Over 1.5 million hectares of land was fire impacted, which included 463,000 hectares of Parks Victoria land.
The wide-ranging fire impacts not only impacted the natural environment, but are estimated to have caused up to $30 million of damage to Parks Victoria's built assets and infrastructure across Eastern Victoria.
Parks Victoria is continuing to undertake vital recovery works, with some areas proving more challenging due to the remoteness and inaccessibility.
We are committed to reopening our parks and popular sites for visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.
Parks Victoria has created a story map to show the complexity and scale of the work needed to reopen much-loved parks, including highlights such as the new bridges at Buchan Caves, new beach access steps at Cape Conran, environmental programs to protect vulnerable species, rebuilt lookouts, and many kilometres of cleared tracks.
After a bushfire
Following major bushfires, Parks Victoria assesses the extent of damage in fire affected parks before reopening. Issues that we commonly encounter in fire damaged parks include burnt trees at risk of falling and destroyed assets such as campsites, cabins, picnic tables, bridges, signs and toilets.
The process we follow in reopening parks includes:
- Treating and removing hazardous trees.
- Decontamination of hazardous material legally dumped in parks.
- Clean up, including removing fallen trees and rehabilitating areas where firebreaks were made.
- Demolition of damaged infrastructure and buildings and insurance assessments/claims process.
- Cultural heritage compliance, including surveying and compliance with Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
- Statutory planning for new buildings to comply with planning legislation and bushfire management overlays.
Share your ideas
Cape Conran Coastal Park roofed accommodationThe public consultation for the roofed accommodation rebuild at Cape Conran Coastal Park closed on 23 March 2021. Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute their feedback and ideas. A short report of community engagement findings will be available on Engage Victoria.
Community Information Sessions
We have recently held community information sessions to provide an update of the bushfire recovery progress in fire affected parks in East Gippsland and North East Victoria. For copies of the session recordings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On the path to recovery’ newsletter
Sign up to the “On the path to recovery” newsletter, providing updates on current recovery works and programs.
- On the path to recovery - March 2021
- On the path to recovery- Summer edition
- On the path to recovery East Gippsland - November 2020
- On the path to recovery North East Victoria - November 2020
- On the path to recovery East Gippsland - October 2020
If you would like further information on the bushfire recovery program or to check the recovery status of a fire impacted park, please visit:
- Fire Affected Parks
- Conservation and Science
- Bushfire Recovery Victoria is a permanent Victorian Government agency working directly with communities to listen, help and deliver what they need.
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) offering useful information on recovery and rebuilding for communities.
- Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) whose role is vital in assisting government agencies in recovering from the impacts of fire and floods on parks and forests.
Asset recovery works
Biodiversity and conservation works
The 2019-20 fires have had a greater impact on Victorian biodiversity than any previous fire season, impacting on precious areas of botanical significance.
The extent and impact of the damage is different across Victoria’s many different ecosystems and landscapes – some will recover, and others may never be the same again.
We are actively working with environmental experts, government and the community to determine the most effective response to the impacts of the fires, guided by science and using evidence-based decision making. We will continue to gather data to understand the impact on biodiversity in our state’s parks, which is expected to be large-scale and long-term.
Recovery is not a simple process and some things will never be the same as they were before these events. It will be a long and continued conversation and take not just months, but years, to get ecosystems functioning again.
Read about the Victorian Government’s coordinated approach to biodiversity response and recovery, led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, at their website
Unfortunately, some parks have been badly affected by fires and some areas may remain closed for a long period of time. To find out which parks are currently impacted by bushfire visit the Fire affected parks page.