Please note the requirements of the Fire-Break Notice have recently changed, and will come into effect 01 November 2017.
So what has changed (from the previous notice)? This will depend on the size of your land and in some cases the location of your property. At a high level, changes include an increase of the vertical height of fire-breaks from 3 metres to 4 meters to accommodate the new generation of larger fire appliance, a small increase in the allowable height of grass fuels to 100mm and the defining of the previous 15 meter low fuel area to a 20 metre Asset Protection Zone of fuel load less than 2 tonnes per hectare.
Does this change effect properties with a current ‘Fire-break Variation’? No. A fire-break variation is an individual notice tailored to the specifics of certain properties and as such existing variations will apply until specifically rescinded or replaced with a new individual notice by the Shire.
Why is there now a 4 metre vertical requirement on all Fire-Breaks? This is a requirement to accommodate the new generation of larger fire appliance which now exceed 3 metres in height.
Do I have to remove all tress around my house? No. You are not required to remove trees in the 20 metre 2 tonne per hectare Asset protection zone, provided they are not over hanging the building. The weight of tree timber and it canopy do not contribute to fuel load determinations. Fuel loads are determined by surface or near surface fine fuels (less than 6mm in thickness/diameter) which aid the rapid spread of a fire, for example leaf or twig litter or shrubs.
How do I determine the fuel load in my Asset Protection Zone? Fuel loads are determined by surface or near surface fine fuels (less than 6mm in thickness/diameter) which aid the rapid spread of a fire, for example leaf/twig litter or shrubs. To assist residents to estimate the fuel load, two simple tools/methods are out lined on the Managing Fuel Loads page.
How can I reduce the fuel load? There are many methods which can be used to reduce fuel loads. The best method will depend on a number of factors including type of vegetation, access, ability/tools or skills and environmental considerations such as erosion. Please visit the Managing Fuel Loads page for further information.
What if it is not possible for my property to reach compliance? If it is not possible for a property to obtain compliance with the notice (i.e. due to terrain), a fire-break variation may be applied for. All requests for variations must be received in writing by the Shire by 01 October.
Does the Fire-Break Notice only relate to Fire-Breaks? No. The Fire-Break Notice requires fuel load maintenance to occur on most properties to help protect assets such as buildings or to prevent the spread of fire caused by combustion of hay stacks, stationary motors or ground mounted solar panels.