Updated Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas released tomorrow
The latest Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas will be released tomorrow, updating the areas of Western Australia where bushfire risk may need to be assessed as part of planning and building applications.
For people developing or building properties, inclusion in the bushfire prone areas of the map may mean their property needs to meet higher standards, to limit the impact of bushfires and the potential loss of lives and homes.
Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) A/Director Tim McNaught said those in affected areas were required, as a minimum, to have a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment prior to development, the outcome of which would determine the measures they need to put in place.
“This will lead to the building of homes in bushfire prone areas that are better able to withstand bushfires, as well as encouraging better informed land use,” he said.
“The map was introduced to address key recommendations from the Keelty Report, which investigated the loss of 71 homes in Perth’s bushfire prone suburbs of Roleystone and Kelmscott in February 2011.”
The map is reviewed annually in partnership with local governments to identify any required updates, including:
• where vegetation has been cleared, such as for new subdivisions or roadways;
• where vegetation has re-grown, such as through site rehabilitation or landscaping works, or in commercial plantations; and
• where vegetation management practices are in place or have changed.
“If you believe your property has been incorrectly identified in the map as bush fire prone, you should speak to your local government. They can work with us to ensure your property is accurately captured as part of the next review process.
“Your local government can also provide advice about what to do in the meanwhile until the map is updated.”
The map forms part of a suite of planning and building requirements for developments in bushfire prone areas, and was launched by the State Government through the Department of Planning in December 2015.
Please refer to the Department of Planning and Building Commission websites planning.wa.gov.au/bushfire and commerce.wa.gov.au/building-commission/building-bushfire-areas for further information about the requirements for properties in bush fire prone areas on the map.
The next edition of the map will be released in May 2018.
The Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas 2017 will be available from approximately 3.30pm tomorrow, via: dfes.wa.gov.au/bushfireproneareas
• The Map shows areas that have been designated as bush fire prone by order of the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner under section 18P of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998.
• Whether an area is considered bush fire prone is determined by its proximity to bush fire prone vegetation, including a 100 metre buffer zone around it.
• The 2017 edition will show both ‘new’ bushfire prone areas and those ‘continuing’ from the previous edition released in May 2016.
• Designated bush fire prone areas are coloured pink on the map. The newly designated areas are identified on the map by a blue cross-hatched overlay.
• The Building Regulations 2012 provides a four-month transition before the bush fire construction requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) are triggered for areas that are newly identified as being bush fire prone.
• This transition means that the bush fire construction requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) will not apply in ‘new’ designated bush fire prone areas until Sunday 1 October 2017. The four month transition is not available in ‘continuing’ bush fire prone areas.
• Accredited bushfire risk assessors can be found through FPA Australia. Some regional local governments also offer to undertake assessments on behalf of residents.
• Frequently Asked Questions and other resources are available on the DFES website at dfes.wa.gov.au/bushfireproneareas.
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955.