Draft bush fire risk management plans

  • Draft plans for the Lower Hunter and Hunter Valley areas are now being prepared.
  • Community feedback will open shortly.
  • Check this page for updates

Managing bush fire risk

A Bush Fire Risk Management Plan is a strategic plan that identifies the risk to communities and the assets they value in the local area.

The aim of the Bush Fire Risk Management Plan is to identify ways to reduce the impact of fires on life, property, environment, infrastructure, economic, cultural, agricultural and community assets for a five-year period.

Bush Fire Risk Management Plans are developed by local Bush Fire Management, incorporating feedback and input from fire agencies, land managers, stakeholders and the community.

How plans are developed

To understand the bush fire risk in an area, and help inform the best ways of managing and reducing the risk, the local Bush Fire Management Committee looks at what’s important to local communities – including where people live, as well as environmental, economic and cultural assets.

Using computer modelling, test scenarios are used to understand the potential impact on the community.

The Committee considers:

  • Residential – where people and properties are situated
  • Economic – looking at the potential economic loss of assets such as businesses, industries and tourism
  • Environmental – areas which have a high environmental value or types of vegetation that are sensitive to fire
  • Cultural – sites which are at risk of fire and have significant cultural value, including Aboriginal sites

Protecting what matters

The local Bush Fire Management Committee members and land managers routinely implement risk treatment strategies in accordance with legislative requirements, policy and asset management. For example, vegetation management, restrictions on development in bush fire prone areas, bush fire education and fire suppression activities. We refer to these as 'BFMC Wide Treatments'. These activities reduce the bush fire risk to assets and communities throughout the area.

Where an unacceptable risk exists for a particular area or assets, additional targeted treatment strategies are planned during the next five-year period. These treatment options include:

  • Fuel Management – the reduction or modification of bush fire fuel with the intent of slowing the spread of bush fire and aiding firefighting operations. This may be identified as;
    • Asset protection zones – these are typically close to homes, and provide a separation from the bushland to reduce the impact of fires, and give firefighters a safe place to work if protecting homes in a fire;
    • Strategic fire advantage zones – these are areas across the broad landscape which, when treated, can help slow the spread of a fire across the landscape;
    • Fire Breaks – areas designed and managed to provide fuel reduced areas from which a fire can be suppressed.
  • Ignition Prevention – activities to prevent or reduce bush fire ignitions whether they be accidental or deliberate. This includes community preparedness programs, fuel management and specific actions in the Ignition Prevention Plan.
  • Community preparedness – activities such as working with residents to improve their level of planning and preparation for a fire, to increase the survivability of their home and families in the event of a fire.
  • Response – specific response requirements for a particular area or value in addition to standard procedures. This may include specific actions in the BFMC Plan of Operations or Fire Access and Fire Trail plan.

How you can be involved

Your views are important – because managing bush fire risk is a job for fire services, land managers and the community.

Local bush fire management committees will provide opportunities for community input, such as identifying locations which are important to you and your community.

These are then considered by the local Committee and used as part of the planning process.

You can also provide feedback on the draft plan when it goes on exhibition – and provide your thoughts on how the bush fire risk is being managed.

Plan and prepare