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Community Information Guides FAQ

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What is a Community Information Guide - Bushfire?

Community Information Guides - Bushfire have been developed for the most high risk bushfire locations. They contain important fire and emergency information to support residents before and during a fire. This includes Neighbourhood Safer Places-Places of Last Resort and Community Fire Refuges (if available in the area), where people can shelter from fire as a last resort, and fire safety information for members of the local community.

Community Information Guides - Bushfire help residents identify and reduce their fire risk and should be used when writing your Bushfire Survival Plan. Not all locations have a Community Information Guide - Bushfire.

How were the Community Information Guides - Bushfire developed?

Community Information Guides - Bushfire have been developed by CFA in consultation with your local community and stakeholder partners including the council.

Who has ownership of the Community Information Guide - Bushfire?

CFA has overall ownership for the delivery of the Community Information Guides - Bushfire, which in most cases has also received signoff from the local council with stakeholder partners and local community members invited to contribute to its development.

My road is not on the map provided? My house is not listed in the correct boundary?

The maps contained within Community Information Guides have been compiled using information from a range of authorised providers including the CFA, local councils and VicRoads. There are many individual custodians of the data that makes a map. For example, Vic Roads for public roads, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for schools, etc. The accuracy of any mapping product relies on the timely and accurate update of this data and/or from members of the public to update the Vic Map database.

There are some restrictions on how much detail can be shown on an A4 map so not every road and not every detail may be shown but the purpose is to articulate clearly all primary and secondary access and egress routes, key locations and facilities (such as, Neighbourhood Safer Places-Places of Last Resort and Community Fire Refuges – where available) and the next closest town, for example.

Is there a list of communities most at risk?

Many high risk bushfire areas have been identified as being particularly vulnerable as the fire season approaches each year.

Towns within these groups may have separate guides even if they are relatively close because of different features and characteristics of the areas, such as Mt Macedon and Macedon.

How was the list developed? How were these areas identified?

Short answer

The fire agencies have assessed the whole state of Victoria to determine the risks of bushfire. Rigorous scientific evidence has been used to identify the most vulnerable areas.

More detailed answer

A collaborative assessment process, with emergency services and local government, has been conducted throughout the whole state of Victoria to determine the risks of bushfire. High risk bushfire communities have been identified because:

  • They have high population densities, which may also rise because of the influx of summer tourists
  • They are located in areas where the physical characteristics of the area assist in building fire intensity
  • Fires are potentially well fed by fuel load before they reach the town or community. Some communities are more likely to be impacted by a well-established bushfire
  • They have limited ability to leave the area safely by road because of the limited number of roads or the likelihood that those affected do not know the local area well
  • Fire trucks may not be able to access the area so there will be more reliance on local resources only
  • Some communities have not had experience over time in preparing for extreme fire events
  • Some older, historical townships are constructed with materials and standards that are not designed to minimise the impact of fire.

Where can I learn more about my community specific guides?

Community Information Guides - Bushfire have been developed for the high risk bushfire areas.

Online links to these guides are available on the CFA website. The development of these guides is in accordance with risk determined by CFA Regions with the support of the Victorian Fire Risk Register.

Communities are encouraged to become involved in the development of their local guide and review their guides once established to ensure it is fully understood and meets their needs. These guides play a key role in informing and supporting your individual or household plan.