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City of Bunbury


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Fire Breaks

Fire control concerns everyone in our community.

As Bunbury residents we are fortunate to live in proximity to a haven of natural bushland. However, embers from a bushfire can travel many kilometres and anyone can lose their home to an ember attack

Firebreaks help to reduce this risk and are a legal requirement under Section 33 of the Bush Fires Act 1954. See the Public Fire Notice below for a list of dates for restricted and prohibited burning times plus all the necessary information you need to ensure your property is compliant and not a Bush Fire Risk.

Where the area of the land is less than 2024 square metres:

Slash/mow all grass to a height no greater than 10 centimetres and remove all slashed materials and other flammable matter from the land.

Where the area of the land is greater than 2024 square metres:

Slash/mow all grass to a height no greater than 10 centimetres and remove all slashed materials and/or install a firebreak of three metres wide and four metres high, clear of all bush and flammable material along all external boundaries of the land.

Firebreaks must be a mineral earth firebreak or maintained living lawn with a continuous trafficable surface for a 4WD vehicle, clear of any obstructions and must not terminate in a dead end.

Firebreaks are intended to minimise the spread of a bushfire and provide safe access on your property for emergency vehicles.

Firebreaks are a legal requirement and failure to comply can result in a penalty of $250. All Rangers are Fire Control Officers and will be actively patrolling during Fire Season to ensure the safety of all our residents.

Where an owner or occupier fails to install or maintain a firebreak, the City will install the firebreak and recover the costs.

Additional things to help keep you safe from fire

There are many additional works that may be requested by Fire Control Officers, but we recommend all property owners consider anyway to further reduce the risk of fire and help you prevent unnecessary damage to your own property:

  • ensure roofs and gutters of all buildings on the land are clear of flammable materials.
  • remove accumulated fuel such as leaf litter, twigs, dead bushes and trees capable of
  • fuelling a fire.

Visit DEFS and consider making a Bushfire Plan. It will take you five minutes and may help you further protect your home and family.

Total Fire Bans

Total Fire Bans are declared on days when fires will be very difficult to control and are most likely to threaten lives and property because there is extreme fire weather or widespread bushfires that are seriously stretching firefighting resources.

Total Fire Bans prohibit lighting open air fires which includes deliberately lit fires, burn offs, cooking with open-fire appliances or campfires; or carrying out business activities that could start a fire including incinerators, welding, grinding, soldering or gas cutting.

As of 2018 the State Government has increased penalties for anyone breaching a Total Fire Ban. An offence can incur an on-the-spot infringement of $1000. Repeat offenders or offences of a serious nature could result in prosecution with a fine of up to $25,000 and / or imprisonment for 12 months.

Visit the DFES website to find out more about Total Fire Bans.

Campfires, fire pits, barbecues and pizza ovens

Fire pits, pizza ovens and wood-fueled barbecues are not permitted at all during the Prohibited Burning period.

Permits are required during the Restricted Burning period. Permits can also be cancelled should changes in weather conditions or other risks present themselves.

A Total Fire Ban would also cancel any permit and community members must check the DFES webpage to see if one is in effect in your area prior to lighting any fire.

These activities are never permitted on any public land without permission from the City of Bunbury and would constitute an offence.

Burning Permits

Each year burning is not permitted from 11 December to 24 March inclusive.

A Burning Permit must be obtained for the burning of any materials (including garden refuse) from 1 November to 10 December inclusive and from 25 March to 5 May inclusive.

Permits are automatically cancelled on days of high and extreme fire danger as no burning of any type is permitted, not even in incinerators.

Permits to burn must be obtained from the City of Bunbury and all conditions imposed by the Council’s Fire Control Officers and Authorised Persons must be followed. Conditions may include:

  • Three adults present at the fire at all times
  • Neighbouring property owners and occupiers notified at least four days before burning or on the day if agreed
  • Running water or a fire unit with water pump and at least 500 litres of water at the fire at all times
  • Specific time of the burn
  • Certain wind conditions and direction for fire and smoke management

Permits to burn will not be issued, or permitted at any time, in residential areas or on land less that 2024 squared metres, due to the increased hazard the activity presents.

Persons burning without a permit or approval may receive an on the spot fine or be liable for fines up to $2,000 plus costs and/or imprisonment. In the case of a running or escaping fire, the responsible person may be liable to prosecution or civil action and may be required to pay damages and the cost of firefighting, even if a permit or approval has been obtained.

Internal fireplaces do not require a permit during the restricted period.