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 Did you know that the cost of suppressing the 2003 Alpine Fire

was a quarter of a billion dollars?


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Read a penetrating  expert analysis of Victoria's forest fire fighting organisation.

Part 1 - here

Part 2 - here




 Neither did anyone else, according to a new study by Dexter and Macleod.


Months of data collection has enabled the authors to compile the costs involved in fire management on public land.  Their methodologies are fully explained. They have revealed that the total cost of fire suppression amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars for which there is no accountability. One of the many takeaways from this study is that organisations responsible for expenditures on such a vast scale ought to make full public disclosure in annual reports.  Only then can their true value be assessed.


Their report reveals that the full cost of public land fires in Victoria is not collated or reported and is thus not subject to public scrutiny. This, they say, precludes the use of alternative strategies for fire management that could result in significant savings and better outcomes for public land,  which covers one-third of Victoria.


One example cited is that during recent fire seasons, spectacular shots of large air tankers dropping fire retardant have featured on the news. While showing the public action is being taken, this form of fire suppression on going forest fires is very costly and often ineffective. More effective options are analysed.


Amongst other conclusions reached in the report, the authors say that since the annual costs of fire suppression now amount to hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, the pursuit of more effective fire management on public land is worthy of attention by auditors, land managers, and regulators.


Download the report (12MB) here.


A U.S. Fire ecologist  has an all too-familiar fire management story that should interest all rural Victorians.


Click on the link below:


Paul Hessburg, Fire Ecologist, on megafires




click to view



Forest Fire (Victoria) Inc.
Last Modified:  6 October 2018