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Bushfire Program

Ecologically Sensitive Bushfire Management 

The Bushfire Program is the longest running of the NCC Healthy Ecosystem Programs. Its vision is to ensure that all bushfire management activity is ecologically sustainable while protecting life and property, and it has been actively involved in the successful evolution of fire management in NSW. The program has been pivotal in bridging contrasting views on bushfire management between interest groups. Under the Rural Fires Act 1997, NCC is able to appoint representatives to the Rural Fires Service Advisory Council (RFSAC), the NSW Bush Fire Coordinating Committee (BFCC), and the Bush Fire Management Committees (BFMCs) located throughout NSW. To date it has delivered eleven biennial bushfire conferences, over 90 workshops and forums and provides detailed, practical and constructive input into policy review and development. The Bushfire Program submissions are based on the best available science, operational knowledge and regional input from the NCC BFMC representatives and other land management agencies. Learn more about our bushfire committees.

Biennial Bushfire Conference

The Bushfire Program has been running a biennial bushfire conference since 1994, bringing together a unique blend of agencies, academics, Traditional Owners and on-ground practitioners to discuss the latest research, practices and ideas in ecologically sound bushfire management. Our most recent conference, "Managing Bushfire Together: Applying science, skills and stories" took place in Sydney on the 24th - 26th of May, 2023, attended by delegates from over 130 different organisations access the recordings here

Access the recordings and materials from our 2021 online conference, Cool, Warm, Hot: the burning questions here.

Informing Policy and Practice

Knowledge exchange and the dissemination of peer-reviewed science is a critical component of sound environmental management. We regularly run workshops, conferences, and forums to help people and organisations get together to discuss bushfire and conservation issues. The Bushfire Program also reviews policy and provides advice on ecologically sustainable fire management.

Preparing For Fire Workshop Program

Our Preparing For Fire interactive workshop series is designed for communities on the urban-bushland fringe where the risk of bushfire is high and the bushland is especially important for conservation. Learn more.

Fire and Restoration Network

The Fire and Restoration Network was developed to share project stories and support discussions about how fire is being used for ecological restoration. The site provides a place for practitioners and researchers to share experiences, challenges, questions and new ideas. We invite you to read our articles, view related resources and contribute to discussions on fire and weeds, fauna, Cultural burning, restoration principles, thresholds and more. You can learn more about the network here.

As part of the network, we produce a newsletter with the latest stories from the site, interesting resources and updates on our biennial Bushfire Conference. Subscribe to the Fire and Restoration newsletter below:


The Bushfire Program produces fact sheets and other materials, ranging from information on general fire ecology through to how to better protect your property from bush fire.

Resources for our BFMC representatives 

BFMC Handbook & Charter

2019/20 NSW Bushfire Inquiry Final Report



Policy and Submissions

The Bushfire Program advocates for sustainable land policy and has a voice in relevant NSW policy decisions. Below are some documents we have submitted recommendations to:

Introduction of IMZs in Bush Fire Risk Management Plans - Advice Note

NCC Bushfire Policy 2022

NSW Independent Inquiry into the 2019-20 Bushfire Season - NCC Submission

NSW Independent Inquiry into the 2019-20 Bushfire Season - NCC Submission Guide

10/50 Vegetation clearing code of practice for New South Wales


Bushfire Conference 

Field trip for the Biennial Bushfire Conference 2021. This year's location was North Head where attendees were able to learn about major efforts in management of this unique location, including burn strategies and results of 2020's escaped burn.

Large Forest Owls Project

Through this project we are working with landholders to protect and enhance key nesting sites and habitat resources for Vulnerable large forest owls across the Richmond-Clarence Lowlands. The project is working to ensure the survival of three Vulnerable species: the Barking Owl (Ninox connivens), Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae) and the Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua). 

Hotspots Program

The Hotspots Fire Project is an education and training program we run with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) to increase understanding of the role of fire in the bush and how it can be best managed for a variety of outcomes. We believe that well-informed and well-prepared communities complement the roles of land managers and fire agencies, and that a shared approach to fire management is critical for effective planning.

Koalas Need Trees

Koala's are forecast to go extinct by 2050 if no action is taken.  Their habitat is being lost to logging, development and mining. We need to urgently protect the remaining koala habitat.

Join our campaign as a Koala Champion because Koalas Need Trees.