Bushfire Prevention Notice FAQs
Council has both a moral and legal obligation to ensure the community’s risks associated with a Bushfire are reduced. Under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005, Council’s Fire Prevention Officer(s) have the powers to inspect properties and to issue Bushfire Prevention Notices. Council issues on average 380 - 400 notices to comply of which 98 property owners are issued with First and Final notices before further action is required. Council also has the legal right to take action to remove or reduce a fire hazard on private land and recoup the costs.
Council’s Fire Prevention Officer(s) have recently assessed your property for fire hazards in the lead up to the Fire Danger Season and determined that you need to reduce fuel loads on your property to reduce the fire risk.
You are required to clean up fine fuels such as leaves, twigs and long grass to reduce the risk to your property from fire as per the Bushfire Prevention Notice. The works must be carried out by the due date to comply, as advised on the Bushfire Prevention Notice.
There is a small delay between the fire hazard inspection program and the issuing of Bushfire Prevention Notices. If you have already carried out what is required on the Notice, then you don’t need to worry. Just ensure you maintain your property in this state for the duration of the Fire Danger Season. A follow up inspection will identify if the work has been completed to the required standard.
Follow up inspections are carried out on properties that have received a Bushfire Prevention Notice. If the works required have not been carried out to the satisfaction of the Fire Prevention Officer(s), a Final Notice will be issued. If you fail to comply with the Final Notice, a contractor will be engaged to carry out the works and the costs will be passed back to you with additional administration fees. You may also receive a fine.
Council may not contact you prior to undertaking works once the Final Inspection has been done and the Final Notice has been issued.
Please contact Council’s Fire Prevention Officer(s) to discuss your particular situation before the due date to comply as advised on the Bushfire Prevention Notice.
Please contact Council’s Fire Prevention Officer(s) to discuss your particular situation. In most cases an additional week may be considered but we must hear from you before the due date to comply as advised on the Bushfire Prevention Notice.
lf it is your intent to cut your paddock for hay, just give the Fire Prevention Officer(s) a call and inform us of your intentions before the due date to comply, as advised on the Bushfire Prevention Notice.
lf it is your intent to put stock on your paddock, just give the Fire Prevention Officer(s) a call and inform us of your intentions before the due date to comply, as advised on the Bushfire Prevention Notice.
Each year starting around mid-October, Council initiates its Roadside fuel reduction program under its obligations to the Adelaide Mount Lofty Bushfire Management Committees Interim Bushfire Management Area Plan (BMAP). Council verges and open reserves are slashed in accordance with BMAP treatments to reduce the risk and spread of fires in these areas. Council’s fire hazard inspection program focuses on protecting your house and outbuildings by providing a fuel reduced area around these assets as per Country Fire Service (CFS) and Native Vegetation guidelines. You must have permission from Council before removing or spraying any native vegetation from a roadside.
Council cuts roadsides in the lead up to the fire season. Strategic/ Main Arterial roads are cut to the fence where possible. All other sealed roads are cut to the white posts. Gravel roads may be cut if they are included on the priority roadside list, which was developed in conjunction with the local CFS. The CFS may conduct roadside fuel reduction burning in strategic areas to create fuel reduced zones to help control a bushfire.
Please let us know if there is a property of concern to you. We will inspect the property and issue the owner with a Bushfire Prevention Notice if required. Council’s fire hazard inspection program is focused on reducing fuel loads immediately around your assets (house and outbuildings). If the fire hazard you are concerned about on a neighbouring property falls outside this area, it is unlikely a Bushfire Prevention Notice will be issued.
Snakes in the country are a fact of life. Ensure you maintain a safe area around your house and outbuildings. Snakes are attracted to the places where we live as they provide shelter and food such as frogs and mice that are also attracted to our homes. Try to remove attractions for snakes from your property such as wood piles, stock feed or hay and maintain open areas where children play free of long grass.
Council does not remove snakes as they are protected species. However, we will inspect the property and if the long grass poses a fire hazard, we may issue the owner with a Bushfire Prevention Notice directing them to cut the grass as appropriate.
Large trees are generally not the main factor in increasing fire intensity and spread. Fine fuels; grass, leaves, bark and twigs smaller than the diameter of your little finger are responsible for the major increase in fire intensity and spread. Queries regarding any large trees or shrubs, please contact Council’s Planning Department or the Native Vegetation Council for advice.
There are no guarantees of personal or property safety when it comes to a bushfire. The works detailed on the Bushfire Prevention Notice are designed to reduce radiant heat, fire intensity and ember attack and minimise direct flame impact on you or your neighbour’s assets. They are consistent with CFS and Native Vegetation guidelines for protecting your home.
The CFS has some excellent resources available to assist residents in preparing their homes for a bushfire. Check out their website www.cfs.sa.gov.au or contact the CFS Community Education Unit on (08) 8212 9858