SEMP Bushfire Sub-Plan

Purpose and scope

Victoria’s State-level emergency risk assessment, Emergency Risks in Victoria was published in 2020 and set Victoria’s emergency risk profile. Bushfire was assessed as a ‘State significant risk’, meaning bushfire was assessed as being a critical and credible scenario for the State.

This State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) Bushfire Sub-Plan (this plan) outlines the current arrangements for the management of bushfires in Victoria. This supports a comprehensive, integrated and coordinated approach and reflects a shared responsibility for bushfire management. In alignment with the SEMP, this plan contextualises the current arrangements, roles and responsibilities for bushfire mitigation, planning, preparedness, response (including relief) and recovery.

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) on behalf of the Emergency Management Commissioner (EMC) coordinated the development of this plan in conjunction with the fire services agencies (with input from a range of other emergency management agencies):

  • Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV)

This plan does not include arrangements for the management of structure fire.


This plan recognises that emergency management - supporting communities to be safer and more resilient - is the shared responsibility of all Victorians, not just the emergency management sector. 

The audience for this plan comprises:

  • government
  • business
  • the community of Victoria, and
  • primarily agencies within the emergency management sector.

How to read this document

This plan should be read in conjunction with the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP).

Plan preparation, approval and review

This is the second version of a State-tier bushfire plan in the form of a SEMP Bushfire Sub-Plan that is prepared under the reformed emergency management (EM) planning arrangements outlined in the Emergency Management Act 2013 (External link), as amended by the Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (External link).  This version includes updates to reflect current bushfire practice, including the implementation of the Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) Program in September 2022 and amendments to agency bushfire responsibilities resulting from Machinery of Government changes in January 2023.

This plan aligns with the SEMP and was prepared with regard to the Guidelines for Preparing State, Regional and Municipal Emergency Management Plans; and was endorsed by the State Crisis and Resilience Council (SCRC) on 29 November 2023. This plan was published and took effect on 1 December 2023.

This plan will commence its next review in 2025 to incorporate changes in bushfire management resulting from ongoing implementation of recommendations of the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian fire season. This plan will then be tested, reviewed and updated at least every three years thereafter with consideration given to earlier revisions as required to ensure the plan provides for a current, integrated, coordinated and comprehensive approach to bushfire management at a State level. Earlier reviews may be triggered by the sub-plan being applied in a major emergency or exercise or following a substantial change to relevant legislation or arrangements, including the SEMP.

Download the SEMP Bushfire Sub-Plan

Date of Publication


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