What are firebreaks?

Firebreaks isolate separate areas of land by wide strips designed to reduce or halt the progression of fire in bush, paddocks forest or vacant land.

Requirements on firebreaks are provided on this page. This information is also available in the brochure below.

Firebreak Notice

Responsibilities

All owners of land within the Shire of Harvey are required to carry out fire prevention work in accordance with the requirements of the Firebreak Notice, on or before 30 November 2022.

As a landowner you have a responsibility to manage your property to reduce the risk of bush fire. The Firebreak Notice informs you of what actions you must take to manage your property and the dates when those actions must be adhered to. 

Infringements

The penalty for failing to comply with the Firebreak Notice is a fine not exceeding $5000 and a person in default is also liable, whether prosecuted or not, to pay the costs of performing the work directed by this Notice if it is not carried out by the owner and/or occupier by the date required by this Notice.

Variations

If you consider it to be impractical to meet the requirements of the Firebreak Notice, you may apply and seek approval from the Shire in writing no later than 1 November 2021, for permission to provide firebreaks in alternative positions or to take alternative action to abate fire hazards on the land.

Special work order

The Shire retains the ability to issue Special Work Orders pursuant to Section 33 of the Bush Fires Act 1954, to individual landowners should additional work be necessary for a potential fire hazard that may exist on a property. These can be issued anytime during the year.

Bushfire Management Plan

All properties that are subject to a Bushfire Management Plan as a result of a subdivision or development approval or an approved treatment plan, must comply with the requirements of such plans in their entirety. 

Firebreak requirements

Rural Land/ Special Rural Land

Firebreaks not less than 3 m wide with a 4 m high Vertical Axis must be provided and maintained in the following positions:

  • Within 10 m inside and along all boundaries of all land.
  • So as to divide the land into areas of not more than 120 ha (300 ac).
  • Around all groups of buildings, haystacks and fuel installations but not closer than 6 m.
  • Irrigation areas – owners or occupiers may be exempt from all or part of the requirements of the above. As an exemption will be required, please contact the Shire’s Ranger Services.

Urban Land/ Special Residential 2024m2 or less

All flammable material on the entire property (noting that this does not include living trees, shrubs, plants and lawn under cultivation) is to be reduced and maintained to a height of less than 5 cm.

Urban Land/ Special Residential exceeding 2024m2

Firebreaks of at least 2 m wide with a 4 m high Vertical Axis must be provided and maintained within 6 m of the inside of all external boundaries of the land. Cleared hardstand areas and reticulated grassed areas maintained in a green state may be considered acceptable as an adequate firebreak.

Fuel and/or Gas Depots

Maintain the land clear of all flammable materials for 20 m from any edge of the storage unit.

Plantations

Boundary firebreaks

Provide 15 m wide firebreaks immediately adjoining all external boundaries of the planted area. The outer 10 m will be cleared of all flammable material while the inner 5 m (closest to the trees) kept in a reduced fuel state.

Internal firebreaks

Provide 6 m wide firebreaks so as to divide the land into areas of not more than 30 ha.

Special risks

Provide 15 m wide firebreaks immediately adjoining the Special Risk.

Power lines

Provided a firebreak in accordance with Western Power specifications along power lines where they pass through or lie adjacent to planted areas.

Firebreak contractors

Firebreak contractors are listed in the document below.

Firebreak inspections

Shire Rangers start property and firebreak inspections on 1 December each year to ensure they comply with the Shire’s Firebreak Order.  Those property owners that do not comply may be infringed or hazard reduction work may be carried out by the Shire of Harvey at the property owner’s expense.

Fire bans

Find out about Total Fire Bans and Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans.

More information and contacts

For more information about bushfire mitigation, please contact us.

Related legislation

Related pages