O.1 Bushfire Risk Management

Overview

This section reports on bushfire risk management activities across the ACT Government in 2020-21. More detailed information relating to the 2020-21 bushfire events in the ACT, including the response activities undertaken by directorates, is reported in each directorate’s annual report.

The Emergency Service Agency (ESA) has the statutory objective to protect life, property and the environment. The history of severe and damaging bushfires in the ACT means bushfire preparation remains one of the ESA’s constant priorities. Bushfires are identified as one of two risks identified as extreme for the ACT in the Territory Wide Risk Assessment. Climate change and an aging population further contribute to the threat and consequences of bushfire.

This year was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. ESA developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and operational guidelines to support frontline services and maintain operational readiness across the Territory.  These guidelines canvassed crew numbers in vehicles, check in at stations and a wide range of hygiene protocols. Arrangements are in place for conducting operations if COVID-19 restrictions are in place during the bushfire season.