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Bushfire hazard reduction

environment - bushland Bushfire

What Council does

Council currently maintains over 100 Asset Protection Zones on bushland reserves in Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Laurieton, Bonny Hills and Lake Cathie. An Asset Protection Zone (APZ) is a fuel reduced area adjacent to a built asset or structure.This can include residential, industrial, commercial or heritage buildings.

Council is responsible for:

  • Maintaining constructed APZs. Scheduled maintenance occurs 1-3 times per year depending on weather conditions
  • Constructing new APZs where required.  Council will notify residents of new APZ construction prior to works starting
  • Notifying the public of the restrictions and breaches of land use in an APZ
  • Working with fire authorities to do hazard reduction burning

an APZ provides

  • A buffer zone between a bushfire hazard and an asset;
  • An area of reduced bushfire fuel that allows suppression of fire
  • An area from which back-burning may be conducted
  • An area which allows emergency services access and provides a relatively safe area for firefighters to defend assets and structures

An APZ, if designed correctly and maintained regularly, will reduce the risk of:

  • Direct flame contact on the asset;
  • Damage to the built asset from intense radiant heat; and
  • Ember attack

What you can do

All residents can support Council in bushfire risk mitigation by not encroaching in the APZ on Council lands.  

Householders are responsible for bushfire risk mitigation on their own property. If you wish to construct an APZ around your house, it must be wholly within your land. You cannot undertake any clearing of vegetation on a neighbour's property, National Park's, Crown land or land under the management of your local council, unless you have written approval.  To undertake hazard reduction involving clearning or burning on your own land, applications must be made to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

You can maintain an asset protection zone or defendable space around your home by:

  • Mowing your grass regularly
  • Removing excess ground fuels and combustible material (long dry grass, dead leaves and branches)
  • Clearing leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters
  • Trimming low lying branches 2 metres from the ground surrounding your home

You should also:

  • Enclose open areas under your decks and floors
  • Install fine wire mesh screens on all windows, doors, vents and weep holes
  • Relocate flammable items away from your home including woodpiles, paper, boxes, crates, hanging baskets and garden furniture
  • Seal all gaps in external roof and wall cladding so hot embers cannot enter

More information on hazard reduction is available at the NSW Rural Fire Service website.

Hastings Bush Fire Risk Management Committee Plan

The aim of this Bushfire Risk Management Plan (BFRMP) is to minimise the risk of adverse impact of bush fires on life, property and the environment.

The objectives of this BFRMP are to:

  • reduce the number of human-induced bush fire ignitions that cause damage to life, property and the environment;
  • manage fuel to reduce the rate of spread and intensity of bush fires, while minimising environmental/ecological impacts;
  • reduce the community’s vulnerability to bush fires by improving its preparedness; and
  • effectively contain fires with a potential to cause damage to life, property and the environment.

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This page was last updated on: 04 November 2019