A number of departmental mistakes caused a fuel reduction burn at Wilsons Promontory National Park to become a large bushfire that burnt out thousands of hectares. Victoria’s Emergency Services Commissioner, Bruce Esplin, made this finding after he was asked to look into the April ’05 disaster.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) did not have a plan in place when it started the burn, and did not test the moisture of the fuel load – two basic requirements before every burn. The DSE also did not have enough staff monitoring the fire. Bruce Esplin, evidently the spokesman for stating-the-obvious, said the mistakes were made by a number of people and there was room for improvement.