Bushfire Mitigation

The City employs a number of methods to mitigate the risk of bushfire in the region. Mitigation activities include building firebreaks, chemical and mechanical treatments, as well as reducing fuel loads and hazard reduction burns to minimise the potential risks of fires. 

Planned burning

Planned burning can be an effective way to reduce vegetation from an area, copying a natural bushfire at much cooler conditions that are easier to manage. This treatment method is carried out to protect life, community assets and infrastructure, as well as to protect natural resources and species from damage from bushfire by reducing the vegetation fuel load within City managed reserves. Planned burning is done under cool burn conditions with experienced personnel onsite to monitor the burn intensity. 


  • Can cover a much larger area faster than other treatments, creating a mosaic of burnt and unburnt areas for fauna to remain in the area.
  • A way to remove areas of invasive species and encourage the growth of native species from seed stored in the soil.
  • Low cost.


  • Weather conditions can change and increase the intensity of the burn, potentially impacting local flora and fauna.
  • There may be burning material, smoke and ash in the area during the burns and for several days following the burn. 

2023 spring planned burn program

The recent weather conditions have proven to be a perfect opportunity for the City to continue its Spring program, the planned burns for Eagle Bay and a section of Yoongarillup Reserve have been successfully completed.  The reduction of ground fuel and “flash fuels” will help minimise the risks and help firefighters if a bushfire was to threaten these areas.

Now is the time for homeowners to start looking at their individual bushfire risks associated with their properties and ensuring they have a current bushfire plan in place that consider the unique set of circumstances that relate to their household.

A bushfire plan can help keep you and your family safe. Create a bushfire plan in just 15mins, visit DFES

Eagle Bay - Completed

2023 autumn planned burn program

With the help and support of our Volunteer Bushfire Brigades our Autumn planned burn program has been very successful.  We were able to complete 3 out of the 4 programs planned. Unfortunately, a turn in the weather prevented us from completing the planned burn at the Dunsborough Waste Facility, however a considerable amount of mechanical clearing and general clean up has been done making the area much safer.  The site has been added to our Spring Burn schedule.

    • Ambergate Reserve – Completed
    • Dunsborough Waste Facility – Re-scheduled
    • Marri Reserve - Completed
    • Yungara Drive/Caves Road - Completed


If you have any questions regarding the Autumn planned burn program, please contact the City's Bushfire Mitigation Officer on 08 9781 0444 or email city@busselton.wa.gov.au

Chemical treatments

Herbicides are applied to weeds with direct, targeted application. This treatment can also be used to prevent the germination of invasive species to encourage the growth of native plants. This treatment is most effective when combined with mechanical treatments or applied after a planned burn.


Can be applied on steeper slopes and target individual plants or larger areas, if required.


  • Limited by wet weather and not recommended in environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Only approved chemicals can be used and applied by a licenced operator.
  • Can be costly.

Chemical treatments with approved funding under round 1 of the 2023-24 Mitigation activity fund grant are in the following locations:

  • Chemical spraying currently being considered include:
  • Caves Road Siesta Park

It is anticipated these treatments will be completed between September and November 2023



Installing a firebreak involves clearing a strip of land using a grader or tractor with a grading attachment. Firebreaks are installed to protect assets. The City issues firebreak notices annually to advise landowners of their firebreak responsibilities.


  • Creates a barrier between assets and vegetation
  • Provides access for firefighters.
  • Can provide a means for tactical firefighting and backburning.
  • Can slow the rate of spread in the case of a bushfire.


  • Dependant on landowners to conduct maintenance to be an effective mitigation treatment.
  • While it can assist in slowing a bushfire, embers can cross firebreaks when carried by wind.

Mechanical treatments

Mechanical treatments can be used to target specific areas and plant types while avoiding sensitive areas. Examples of mechanical treatments used by the City includes slashing, mulching and parkland clearing.

Slashing - Involves the mowing of grasses using either a tractor or compact track loader with a slasher attachment.

Mulching - where machinery is used to cut and grind vegetation into chips, which is then left as a ground covering to delay weed growth.

Parkland Clearing - a combination of slashing and mulching. The understorey is treated while the tree canopy remains.


  • Treatments break up the fuel continuity, both vertically and horizontally, which slows down the spread of a bushfire and makes it easier to control a fire if it did start.
  • Creates a buffer between vegetation and assets. 
  • Improves access and safety for fight fighters in the case of a bushfire. 
  • Does not create any smoke. 
  • Treatments can be carried out when weather inhibits planned burning. 
  • Treatments are not as resource heavy as planned burning.


  • Limited by steep slopes and wet weather.
  • Noisy machines may impact locals.
  • Traffic management required along road reserves.
  • Can be costly
  • Machines can be difficult to source.
  • Machinery has the potential to spread dieback and weeds.
  • Where machines have disturbed the soil, it may be susceptible to erosion. 
  • Sites that have been mulched or cleared may be unsightly following works.

Mechanical works with approved funding under round 1 of the 2023-24 Mitigation activity fund grant are in the following locations:

  • College Ave West Busselton
  • Vasse Hwy Yalyalup
  • Vasse-Yallingup Siding Road Yallingup
  • Meadow View Busselton
  • Hemsley Road Naturaliste
  • Riedel Reserve Eagle Bay

It is anticipated these treatments will be completed between September and November 2023.


            If you've encountered a problem with the website or have any general feedback, please provide comment via this form.

            Was this page helpful?

            Get Audio Code