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About the emergency and bushfire recovery program

The 2019/20 Black Summer fires impacted over 100 of Victoria’s most significant historic heritage places across the State's north-east. In response the Bushfire Recovery Heritage Program was established shortly afterwards.

In June and October 2021, severe storms and floods affected heritage places across the state. As a result, the scope of the program expanded. New staff joined the team in January 2022. The team is now operating as the Emergency and Bushfire Recovery Program.

The team can quickly respond to weather events and other disasters as they occur. This helps ensure better recovery outcomes for our state’s significant heritage. Site visits to storm-affected heritage places have commenced. Bushfire recovery heritage site audits are continuing.

Heritage Victoria response

In response to these emergencies, Heritage Victoria:

  • Assesses heritage places affected by disaster events. This includes bushfires, floods, storms, wind events and even earthquakes.
  • Provides advice to heritage asset owners and managers about proceeding with repairs.
  • Delivers projects contributing to heritage recovery and public safety goals.

Stringers Knob fire spotting tower

The heritage interpretation project at Stringers knob has now been completed. The Stringers Knob historic fire towers were impacted by fires and have not been used since the 1960s.

Recent events

Recently, severe weather and other events have impacted significant historic heritage sites across Victoria.

These include:

  • Over 100 places affected by the Black Summer fires in 2019/20
  • Approximately 500 heritage places affected by the June 2021 storms and floods
  • Multiple heritage sites affected by the September 2021 earthquake
  • Many sites impacted by January 2022 storms
  • Far East Gippsland impacted by another storm and flood event in April 2022.
Image shows the road into Walhalla. A roadhouse is beside the road with mountains and trees. A fog covers the mountain tops.
Stringers Creek, Walhalla flooded in June 2021
Source: Emergency and Bushfire Recovery Program, December 2021

Disaster preparedness

Heritage Victoria has collated resources relating to disaster preparedness and recovery. The Emergency Bushfire Recovery Program recognises preparedness is critical in ensuring the resilience of heritage places through disaster events.

Working with partners across the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) and FFR, we have been looking at ways of improving management of places on crown lands ahead of another fire season.

Page last updated: 27/03/23