2023/24 Firebreak and Fuel Hazard Reduction Notice

Published on Thursday, 5 October 2023 at 10:24:19 AM

City of Busselton

2023/24 FIREBREAK AND FUEL HAZARD REDUCTION NOTICE

Bush Fires Act 1954

Take notice that pursuant to Part 3 Division 6 Section 33 of the Bush Fires Act 1954, all owners and or occupiers of land within the District of the City of Busselton, shall construct firebreaks and carry out fire prevention works in accordance with the provisions of this Notice.

  1. INTERPRETATION AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
    • Wherever referred to in this Notice, unless the context requires otherwise-

‘Firebreak’ – the term firebreak includes a mineral earth firebreak.

‘Mineral Earth Firebreak’ means a 3 metre wide area of the owner(s)/occupier(s) land, cleared and maintained totally clear of all vegetation material (living or dead).

‘Fire Management Plan’ means a comprehensive plan for the prevention and control of bushfires which may apply to individual landholdings. A notification pursuant to the Transfer of Lands Act 1893 (as amended) may be placed on the Certificate(s) of Title of the land for medium to long term fire management to reduce the occurrence and minimise the impact of uncontrolled bush fires, thereby reducing the threat to life, property and the environment.

‘Hazardous and Flammable Materials’ means accumulated fuel including burn piles (living or dead) such as leaf litter, twigs, trash, bush, dead trees and scrub capable of carrying a running fire, but excludes standing living trees and isolated shrubs.

‘Building Protection Zone’ means a modified area of reduced fuel immediately surrounding a building.

‘Hazard Separation Zone’ means a modified area of reduced fuel load outside a Building Protection Zone to assist in reducing the fires intensity when flames are approaching buildings. Both the Building Protection Zone and the Hazard Separation Zone are essential strategies for the protection of buildings. A Hazard Separation Zone covers the area 75 metres outside a Building Protection Zone.

A Hazard Separation Zone should be modified to have a maximum fuel load of 6-8 tonne per hectare. This can be implemented by fuel reduction methods such as burning, mowing and slashing to remove the hazard and should not require the removal of living trees or shrubs.

‘Parkland Clearing’ means all dead vegetation, dry grass (excluding approved crop or pasture areas and living trees/shrubs), piles of timber, disused materials and other vegetation maintained to a height of no greater than 10 centimetres.

  1. BUILDING PROTECTION ZONES
    • A Building Protection Zone shall be provided for buildings in bush fire prone areas. The surroundings of buildings must comply with the following requirements-
  • The BPZ for existing buildings must be at least 20 metres from any external wall of the building unless varied under an approved Fire Management Plan.
  • The minimum BPZ for buildings constructed after 1 November 2011, in all cases shall be 25 metres.
  • The BPZ must be located within the boundary of the lot on which the building is situated.
  • Hazardous/flammable materials must not exceed the maximum fuel load specified in sub-paragraph (e), with grass areas not exceeding a height greater than 10 cm.
  • Fuel loads must be reduced and maintained at 2 tonne per hectare.
  • Isolated trees and shrubs may be retained, however, the first 5 metres around all buildings must be clear of all hazardous/flammable materials.
  • Reticulated gardens in the Building Protection Zone shall be maintained to a height of no greater than 500 millimetres.
  • Wood piles must be at least 10 metres away from habitable dwellings.
  • Trees in the BPZ must comply with section
  • Where the land has an approved Fire Management Plan, compliance must be achieved in accordance with the Fire Management Plan. The Fire Management Plan may vary the above Building Protection Zone requirements.
  1. TREES

3.1 All tree branches must be removed or pruned to ensure a clear separation of at least 3 metres back from the eaves of all buildings and 5 metres above the top of the roof.

3.2 Branches that may fall on the house must also be removed.

3.3 In the Building Protection Zone, the spacing of individual or groups of trees should be 15 metres apart to provide for a 5 metres separation between tree crowns.

3.4 A separation distance of at least 2.5 metres shall be maintained between trees and power lines so they do not come into contact and start a fire or bring down a power line.

3.5 Any overhanging trees and other vegetation must be pruned to a height of 5 metres above the ground level of a mineral earth firebreak.

  1. COMPLIANCE PERIOD

4.1 Firebreaks and fuel hazard reduction on all Rural Residential, Urban and Industrial Land which includes Category 2, 6, 7 and 8 in Section 7, is to be completed no later than 15 November 2023 and must be maintained compliant with this notice until 30 April 2024.

4.2 Firebreaks and fuel hazard reduction on all Rural Land which includes Category 1 in Section 7, is to be completed no later than 15 December 2023 and must be maintained compliant with this notice until 30 April 2024.

  1. PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED BURNING TIMES

5.1 PROHIBITED BURNING TIME – Burning in the open is prohibited throughout the District from 1 December 2023 to 29 February 2024 inclusive.

5.2 RESTRICTED BURNING TIME – Permits to burn are required from 15 October 2023 to 30 November 2023 inclusive, and from 1 March 2024 to 30 April 2024 inclusive. Burning on Public Holidays is prohibited.

  1. BURNING OF GARDEN REFUSE

6.1 Pursuant to Section 24G(2) of the Bush Fires Act 1954, the burning of garden refuse is prohibited throughout the District during Prohibited Burning Times, and prohibited in Urban areas of the District during Restricted Burning Times.

6.2 During Restricted Burning Times, a Permit to Burn is required for the burning of garden refuse in Rural Residential or Rural areas.

  1. CAMPING AND/OR COOKING FIRES

7.1 Pursuant to Section 25(1a) of the Bush Fires Act 1954, the lighting of fires in the open for the purpose of camping and/or cooking is prohibited throughout the District during Prohibited Burning Times.

  1. REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICULAR CATEGORIES OF LAND

8.1 Category 1 – Rural Land except plantations and vineyards.

The owner(s) or occupier(s) of land in Category 1 shall construct firebreaks and carry out the following fire protection measures–

  • A mineral earth firebreak shall be constructed 3 metres wide, except in pasture or crop areas where a firebreak shall be 2 metres Firebreaks shall be located adjacent to all external boundaries of the land. Where the land area exceeds 120 hectares, an additional firebreak must divide the land into areas of not more than 120 hectares with each part completely surrounded by a firebreak.
  • A Building Protection Zone shall surround every building and must comply with the requirements of Section 2.
  • A 3 metre mineral earth firebreak shall be located within 6 metres of fuel storage tanks, sheds, gas cylinders and haystacks. The mineral earth firebreak shall be maintained so that it is totally clear of all material (living or dead).

8.2 Category 2 – Urban Residential, Industrial and Commercial Land

The owner(s) or occupier(s) of land in Category 2 shall construct firebreaks and carry out the following fire protection measures–

  • Where the area of land exceeds 2024m2 (½ acre) a mineral earth firebreak shall be constructed and maintained at least 3 metres wide and within 6 metres of the inside of all external boundaries of the land.
  • Where the area of land is 2024m2 (½ acre) or less, all hazardous materials must be removed from the whole of the land except living trees. In the area remaining, vegetation is to be maintained to a height of no greater than 10 centimetres; this includes piles of timber, branches and other vegetation.
  • Trees shall be maintained in accordance with Section 3.

8.3 Category 3 and 4 – Plantations

The owner(s) or occupier(s) of land in Category 2 shall construct firebreaks and carry out the following fire protection measures–

  • Firebreaks and fuel reduction shall be completed in accordance with an approved Fire Management Plan referred to in Section 1.

8.4 Category 5 – Protea Plantations and Vineyards

The owner(s) or occupier(s) of land in Category 5 shall construct firebreaks and carry out the following fire protection measures–

  • A mineral earth firebreak shall be constructed no less than 3 metres wide.
  • A 5 metre low fuel area is to be maintained between the 3 metre firebreak and the plantation/vineyard area. In this area, vegetation is to be maintained to a height of no greater than 10 centimetres; this includes piles of timber, branches and other vegetation.
  • A Building Protection Zone shall surround every building and must comply with the requirements of Section 2.
  • A 3 metre mineral earth firebreak shall be located within 6 metres of fuel storage tanks, sheds, gas cylinders and haystacks. The mineral earth firebreak shall be maintained so that it is totally clear of all material (living or dead).

8.5 Category 6 – Rural Residential Land – Lots with Individual Boundary Firebreak

Where a Fire Management Plan has been approved for Rural Residential Land, not in a Strategic Firebreak area, firebreaks and fuel hazard reduction shall comply with the approved Fire Management Plan.

The owner(s) or occupier(s) of land in Category 6 shall construct firebreaks and carry out the following fire protection measures–

  • A mineral earth firebreak shall be constructed 3 metres wide except on land with pasture or crop, where a firebreak shall be 2 metres wide and located within 6 metres of all external boundaries of the land.
  • Parkland clearing, in accordance with Section 1, must be carried out in all open paddocks and along the boundary of the property.
  • A Building Protection Zone shall surround every building and must comply with the requirements of Section 2.
  • A 3 metre mineral earth firebreak shall be located within 6 metres of fuel storage tanks, sheds, gas cylinders and haystacks. The mineral earth firebreak shall be maintained so that it is totally clear of all material (living or dead).

8.6 Category 7 – Rural Residential Land with a Strategic Firebreak on one or more Boundaries

Where a Fire Management Plan has been approved for Rural Residential Land, within a Strategic Firebreak area, firebreaks and fuel hazard reduction shall comply with the approved Fire Management Plan.

The owner(s) or occupier(s) of land in Category 7 shall construct firebreaks and carry out the following fire protection measures–

  • A mineral earth firebreak shall be constructed 3 metres Free access along a Strategic Firebreak is to be maintained at all times and including across the boundary of a lot, by means of a 3.5 metres wide field gate in the adjoining lot boundary fence.
  • Parkland clearing, in accordance with Section 1, must be carried out in all open paddocks and along the boundary of the property.
  • A Building Protection Zone shall surround every building and must comply with the requirements of Section 2.
  • A 3 metre mineral earth firebreak shall be located within 6 metres of fuel storage tanks, sheds, gas cylinders and haystacks. The mineral earth firebreak shall be maintained so that it is totally clear of all material (living or dead).

8.7 Category 8 – Rural Residential Land within a Strategic Firebreak Area with no Strategic Firebreaks on the Lot Boundaries

Where a Fire Management Plan has been approved for Rural Residential Land, within a Strategic Firebreak area, firebreaks and fuel hazard reduction shall comply with the approved Fire Management Plan.

The owner(s) or occupier(s) of land in Category 8 shall construct firebreaks and carry out the following fire protection measures–

  • Parkland clearing, in accordance with Section 1, must be carried out in all open paddocks and along the boundary of the property.
  • A Building Protection Zone shall surround every building and must comply with the requirements of Section 2.
  • A 3 metre mineral earth firebreak shall be located within 6 metres of fuel storage tanks, sheds, gas cylinders and haystacks. The mineral earth firebreak shall be maintained so that it is totally clear of all material (living or dead).

TONY NOTTLE – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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