Fire and the Forest

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Excursion Program Overview

Fires have been a natural part of the Victorian forest environment for thousands of years. Investigate how bushfires affect the environment, plants, animals and local communities of Toolangi, and discuss the different ways humans have viewed and managed fire while they have been living in Australia. This tour will visit a majestic intact Mountain Ash Forest and logging coupe, and will also stop off to compare and contrast the eucalypt forest with the lush Cool Temperate Rainforest. Teachers may choose an optional activity for students to complete introductory-level fieldwork sketching and data collection tasks as a part of Victorian Geography curriculum.

Curriculum Links

Geographical Concepts and Skills: Data and Information

  • Collect and record relevant geographical data and information from the field and secondary sources, using ethical protocols (VCGGC088)
  • Represent the location of places and other types of geographical data and information in different forms including diagrams, field sketches and large-scale and small-scale maps that conform to cartographic conventions of border, scale, legend, title, north point and source; using digital and spatial technologies as appropriate (VCGGC089)

Geographical Knowledge: Factors that shape places and influence interconnections

  • Impacts of bushfires or floods on environments and communities, and how people can respond (VCGGK095)


  • Explaining the impacts of fire on Australian vegetation and the significance of fire damage to human communities
  • Researching how the application of principles of prevention, mitigation and preparedness minimises the harmful effects of bushfires or flooding
  • Environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of places and the management of spaces within them (VCGGK096)
    – Investigating the influence of landforms on the development of settlements that are involved in food and fibre production. For example, river valleys such as the Murray-Darling, Yellow (Huang He), Yangtze, Amazon, Mekong or Ganges.

Geographical Knowledge: Factors that influence people’s awareness and opinion of places

  • Identifying factors that influence people’s awareness and opinions of places, for example, the media, significant known events, proximity to places and personal relationships with places (VCGGK097)

Inclusions and Notes

Equipment supplied by Gould League: Safety helmets worn by all participants; workbook and all tools required for fieldwork data collection.

Equipment needed: A chartered bus (which is required to remain with the group at all times). First aid kit and PPE including hand sanitiser to ensure a Covid safe excursion.

Student needs to bring:  Their own water and lunch, sunscreen, a clipboard, pencil, and a copy of the Gould League workbook (usually sent 14 days prior to excursion so copies can be made for students) to guide the forest investigation; bag to take away your rubbish.

Restrictions: This Gould League program is delivered in the Toolangi State Forest, in the North Central Fire District and does not operate on days with a Fire danger rating of Severe, Extreme and Code Red. On rare occasions, programs may be postponed due to extreme weather predictions involving wind/storms. In both cases, these programs will be rescheduled at the earliest convenience of both parties.

Programs however DO operate during wet/snowy weather. Please contact us to discuss the best timing to optimize your group’s experience and ensure suitable clothing and footwear for the conditions predicted. Plan for wet weather from April-October, and expect temperatures at least 5 degrees colder than suburban Melbourne.

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 content elements are © VCAA, reproduced by permission. Victorian Curriculum F-10 elements accurate at time of publication. The VCAA does not endorse or make any warranties regarding this resource. The Victorian Curriculum  F-10 and related content can be accessed directly at the VCAA website.

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Program Details

Program Location Toolangi State Forest
Max # of Groups (group max 30) 3
Possible Start Times 10.00am (9.45am arrival)
Grade Level Year 5-6
Program Duration 4 hours
Program Type Excursion
Program Theme Forest, Human Impacts
Cost per group $540