News

Bushfire Management Plans - What are they?

12 September 2016

Bushfire Management Plans can be a vital tool to manage the risks to your assets and peoples' safety. They can be straight forward to develop - if you know what you are doing.

Government Policy

The Queensland State Government has developed a State-wide mapping methodology to identify Bushfire Prone Areas in support of the bushfire hazard provisions of Queensland’s State Planning Policy, which came into effect in December 2013. This methodology scales bushfire hazard based on the Potential Fire-line Intensity of a severe bushfire, and can be used to predict the radiation profile of areas adjacent to potentially hazardous vegetation and an associated Potential Impact Buffer.

The State Planning Policy provides a comprehensive set of principles which underpin Queensland’s planning system to guide local and State government in land use planning and development assessment. The State’s interest in relation to natural hazards is: “The risks associated with natural hazards are avoided or mitigated to protect people and property and enhance the community’s resilience to natural hazards”.

Bushfire Intensity

Bushfires gain more intensity and burn more quickly up slopes. They can double in intensity every 10 degrees of slope. Steep areas also present more difficult terrain for constructing firebreaks and providing access for emergency crews.

Aspect affects bushfire hazard because of the effect of direct exposure to sunlight on different vegetation communities. Western and northern aspects have the highest drying rates of fuels which also correlates closely with exposure to low humidity winds that increase bushfire intensity.

Fire Runs

Bushfires are also influenced by the length of the fire run before reaching buildings and assets. The longer the run the greater the potential for the fire to reach its potential maximum intensity for the conditions prevailing at the time. Consequently, it is necessary to assess the length and direction of fire runs that may occur in the area.

Water Supply 

Bushfire hazard overlay codes from Local Governments require the development is provided with an adequate water supply for fire fighting purposes that is safely located and
freely accessible. This can be achieved by:

  • being connected to a reticulated water supply; or
  • provision of a storage system (e.g. dam, swimming pool or water tank) for fire fighting purposes.

Building Standards

There are a number of standards that apply to new infrastructure in mapped areas of bushfire hazard. This includes the Australian Standard for “Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas (AS3959 – 2009 including Amendments 1, 2 and3) and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

We can help you develop a Bushfire Management Plan

A Bushfire Management Plan can only be developed by a suitably qualified person with relevant experience in bushfire management along with ecological qualifications and understanding. Redleaf has experienced scientists in this area with years of practical hands on knowledge of bushfire management in the Australian landscape. 

Contact Dr Bruce Thomson to help you develop up a Bushfire Management Plan for your project. 

bruce@redleafenv.com.au

0407 128 139