; Firebreaks - City of Wanneroo
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Firebreaks

The Bush Fires Act 1954, requires all land owners to carry out fire prevention works, such as firebreaks, on land that is owned or occupied.  

A firebreak means a strip of land which has been cleared of all flammable material such as wood, leaves and grass that is likely to be ignited and capable of burning.  It must be trafficable, meaning it must be accessible by a fire appliance and cleared of vegetation to a maximum height of 50mm, without any obstruction to the vehicle.  A firebreak cannot terminate or lead to a dead end. 

Land owners can clear firebreaks by ploughing, grading, cultivating, scarifying, raking, burning and chemical spraying (reticulated and maintained green lawn is acceptable as a fire break). 

Fire management requirements for land less than 4000m²

  • Maintain grasses and flammable materials with the exception of living trees on the entire property to a height of no more than 50 millimetres.  The entire property is required to be maintained below 50 millimetres from 1 November each year until 30 April the following year OR
  • A 3 metre wide trafficable fire break as close as possible to all external boundaries of the property must be installed by 1 November each year and maintained until 30 April the following year OR
  • Where it is not possible to install the fire break adjacent to the external boundary of the property due to naturally occurring obstacles, it is acceptable to install the fire break around the obstacle.  If this requires the fire break to be greater than 5 metres away from the external boundary, a fire break variation is required.  
  • Ensure a minimum vertical clearance of 4 metres is maintained along the fire breaks to enable vehicles to drive along the fire breaks without its access being obstructed.
  • Where a property is affected by an approved bushfire management plan, property owners must still comply with all requirements in the Fire Break Notice and with any additional requirements outlined within that plan.

Fire management requirements for land greater than 4000m²

  • A 3 metre wide trafficable fire break as close as possible to all external boundaries of the property must be installed by 1 November each year and maintained until 30 April the following year OR 
  • Where it is not possible to install the fire break adjacent to the external boundary of the property due to naturally occurring obstacles, it is acceptable to install the fire break around the obstacle.  If this requires the fire break to be greater than 5 metres away from the external boundary, a fire break variation is required.  
  • Ensure a minimum vertical clearance of 4 metres is maintained along the fire breaks to ensure vehicles can drive along the fire breaks without being impeded by tree branches;
  • Install and maintain a 20 metre bare earth area around all hay stacks and fuel dumps. 
  • Where a property is affected by an approved bushfire management plan, property owners must still comply with all requirements in the Fire Break Notice and with any additional requirements outlined within that plan.

All vacant land greater than 4000m²

  • A 3 metre wide trafficable fire break as close as possible to all external boundaries of the property must be installed by 1 November each year and maintained until 30 April the following year.
  • Ensure a minimum vertical clearance of 4 metres is maintained along the fire breaks to ensure vehicles can drive along the fire breaks without being impeded by tree branches.
  • If the land is an area greater than 4000m² but less than 50,000m² (5 hectares) all grass on the land must be maintained to a height of less than 50 millimetres.
  • If the land is an area of 50,000m² (5 hectares) or greater, the grass must be maintained on the land to a height no greater than 5cm for a distance of 10m from any fire break.  

FIREBREAKS MUST BE INSTALLED BY THE 1ST OF NOVEMBER EACH YEAR AND MAINTAINED UNTIL THE 30TH OF APRIL THE FOLLOWING YEAR.

The City of Wanneroo conducts fire break inspections from 1 November each year.  Failure to comply may incur penalties of up to $5000.  The works required will be carried out by the City of Wanneroo at the expense of the owner/occupier.

Compliant firebreak

A compliant fire break needs to be 3m wide and trafficable with a vertical clearance of not less than 4m.

 

Non-compliant firebreak

This non-compliant fire break shows grass/weed regrowth and no vertical 4m clearance.

Application to vary the above requirements

If it is considered impracticable for any reason to implement any of the above requirements, an application for a fire break variation must be made no later than 18th October of each year to the City of Wanneroo for permission to provide alternative fire mitigation measures and will remain in effect unless significant changes to the property occur or the City of Wanneroo revokes the variation.

If permission is not granted, the above requirements must be complied with.  

AN APPLICATION FOR A VARIATION TO THE FIRE BREAK NOTICE IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FIREBREAK NOTICE BELOW

Firebreak Notice and information

Additional works

In addition to the requirements of this Notice, further works may need to be carried out to reduce the risk of bushfire which are considered necessary by a City of Wanneroo Authorised Officer and in line with the City’s Bushfire Risk Management Plan.  Landowners who need to carry out further works will be notified via a separate letter to the address of the owner/s as shown on the City of Wanneroo rates record for the relevant land.  

For further information call the City of Wanneroo Community Safety and Emergency Management Team on 9405 5000