Preparation and responses to wildfires have improved for human life and property, but there has been far less progress in protecting threatened species and ecological communities before, during and after wildfire. Our project aimed to identify what is required to improve conservation outcomes during large fire events. We conducted semi-structured interviews and a survey with conservation managers and fire operations staff to learn from their experiences in the 2019–20 fire season. Participants identified a range of impediments to the conservation of biodiversity, including a lack of accessible information on feasible actions, and limited guidance about which conservation assets should be prioritised for action as the fires approached. We have developed a set of recommendations focused around spreading risk before fire events and minimising the risk of serious impacts to conservation assets during fire events. These recommendations work together to form a roadmap to improve outcomes for biodiversity in a changing climate, and to minimise the risks in a future where large wildfire events are inevitable.