Planned Burning

CFA brigades conduct planned burning which reduce fuels to minimise the impact and spread of bushfire.

What is planned burning?

A planned burn is the controlled use of fire under carefully managed conditions to reduce fuel such as dead wood, leaf litter, bark and shrubs.

Why do planned burning?

Reduced fuel decreases the impact of bushfire by lowering the intensity of a bushfire. Low intensity makes it easier for fire-fighters to control a bushfire.

Fuel reduction is conducted at a board scale remote from settlements to reduce embers that on bad fire days start new fires some distance away from the main fire (up to 36 kilometres). This fuel reduction slows the rate of spread of a bushfire. It also increases the likelihood of suppression at the early stage of a bushfire.

Fuel reduction within 150 metres of a house significantly increases the likelihood of house survival by minimising the impact of radiant heat and ember attack.

Burning is also used by land managers to maintain the health of plants and ecosystems that need fire. For more information on fire and ecology read the topic Sustainable Fire Management.

Under severe bushfire conditions the effectiveness of planned burning reduces and the risk to life and property increases. Community members should prepare and maintain their property and manage vegetation to help reduce the risk around their homes and assets and act on their personal bushfire survival plan.


burning tree
recruits learning about fire


Who does planned burning?

Parks and reserves

Planned burning on public land including National Parks, State Parks and other crown land reserves is done by Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic). For more information go to the FFMVic website.

Private land and other reserves

Planned burning is conducted by CFA brigades on behalf of and at the request of private land owners or managers of other reserves such as roads rail corridors, council reserves and water authority land.

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVIC) and CFA fire-fighters routinely work together on planned burns.

How is planned burning done?

A planned burn is conducted under specified weather conditions by trained fire-fighters using specific lighting patterns and resources to meet burn objectives.

planned burning team

When is planned burning done?

Planned burning can only be done in very mild and stable weather conditions. These conditions occur in a narrow weather window of five to eight weeks a year in spring and autumn. See a list of FFMVic and CFA planned burns happening now and next ten days.

Want to know more about planned burning in your area?

Parks and reserves

Information on planned burns conducted by Forest Fire Management Victoria can be found at the FFMVic website

Private land and other reserves

For more information about CFA burns in your area, please use the Planned Burning Notification System or contact your local CFA District Office. For information on private burn offs contact VicFire on 1800 668 511.

CFA planned burns can now be viewed on the FFMVic Statewide Outlook Map and on the VicEmergency website and app.


Cultural Burning

Cultural burning, sometimes referred to as Traditional burning, is performed by Aboriginal people as part of their cultural responsibilities and obligations to care for country.

Cultural burning is the traditional ecological knowledge of Australia’s first people. CFA acknowledges all Victorian Aboriginal people as a cultural continuum. At CFA we acknowledge that fire is within the heart of all Aboriginal people and is what brings communities together.

In south eastern Australia the practice of cultural burning has been interrupted for more than 100 years. However, land and fire management agencies including CFA are doing what they can to support the restoration of the practice.

CFA recognises cultural burning can assist Victorian’s with the uncertainties of changing climate. Sharing knowledge will assist in developing adaptive fire management practices. This builds on supporting community through learning about how we live with fire.

Uncle Mason at Little River

For CFA this means working with three key principles

  1. Cultural burning is a practice performed by Aboriginal people for cultural purposes
  2. Cultural burning knowledge belongs to the Traditional knowledge holders.
  3. Cultural burning partnerships with CFA must be led by Aboriginal people.

Working together to foster knowledge sharing is an important way to enable participation of Aboriginal communities with CFA.

To find out more about how Victorians can support cultural burning refer to The Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Strategy



Page last updated:  Wednesday, 20 September 2023 3:16:37 PM