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Advice from NSW RFS

A range of advice, information and resources is available from the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS). The NSW RFS staff members are there to assist volunteers and the communities they protect.  

Contact the NSW RFS Planning and Environmental Services Centre hotline number 1300 NSW RFS (1300 679 737) for advice development control issues.

Your local council should be able to supply you with the relevant information regarding building on bush fire prone land. Council will advise if the proposed development is located on bush fire prone land and whether a bush fire report is required.

The NSW RFS play a regulatory role in the planning process and can not provide certification to a particular development or product. The principle certifier (council or private) for a development is the only person who can sign off on the proposal or product.  

Development control officers of the NSW RFS can provide generic information and direct the public to relevant documents. They can also provide clarification to the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 and other development control related documents.  

Contact your nearest Fire Control Centre for advice about the following (select a topic for more information):

How to do Hazard Reduction   

There are three main methods of hazard reduction; hand clearing, mechanical clearing and burning.  

In many circumstances, hand and mechanical clearing methods is the best way to protect assets. These methods can be safer than burning, and easier to organise and maintain.  

If you intend to do a burn, ask advice from your NSW RFS Fire Control Centre on how to do this safely and find out whether you require a fire permit or other approval.  

Consider the layout of your property and whether an Asset Protection Zone (APZ), where fuels are strategically reduced to protect homes, can be established. Your Fire Control Centre can explain how to establish an APZ.  

Environmental Approval for Hazard Reduction   

A range of environmental legislation helps protect sensitive areas and regulates methods of hazard reduction. In some cases, you may require environmental approval to do hazard reduction work.  

While the NSW RFS does not regulate environmental legislation, it has made it easier for private landowners in bush fire prone areas to get the approvals they may need for hazard reduction work. We speed up the assessment process in some cases. Just ask about a Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate, the environmental approval for hazard reduction work.  

NSW RFS officers can conduct an environmental assessment and approve a certificate if required, for free in just a few days. Ask your local Fire Control Centre or download the Bush Fire Hazard Reduction Certificate application and guidelines from this website.  

If you are concerned about possible bush fire hazards on a neighbouring property or any other land, you can report these to the NSW RFS.  

The NSW RFS is responsible for inspecting bush fire hazards and issuing notices to reduce hazards to all landowners and managers.  

If you are concerned about something you believe to be a bush fire hazard, you can: