Firebreaks and Bushfire Hazards

To assist in the control of bushfires, and/or prevent the spread, or extension of a bushfire all owners and/or occupiers of land within the City of Joondalup are required by 31 October each year to remove from the land all flammable material and/or clear firebreaks as per the specifications set out below until May the following year.

Flammable material includes any plant, tree, grass, substance, object, thing or material that may or is likely to catch fire and burn or any other thing deemed by an authorised officer to be capable of combustion.

A firebreak is an area constructed to a trafficable surface (to be able to travel from one point to another in a four-wheel drive fire appliance on a clear surface, unhindered without any obstruction that may endanger such fire appliances) that is kept and maintained totally clear of all flammable material.

Under the provisions of the Bush Fires Act 1954, Section 33, the City of Joondalup sets out the following specifications

Vacant land with an area of 2,000m²/0.2ha or less

  • Remove all flammable material from the whole of the land, except living trees, shrubs and plants under cultivation, and lawns, by means of slashing, mowing or by other means (other than burning) to a height no greater than 50mm across the entire property and maintain in this state to 31 May each year.
  • Any living trees, shrubs and plants under cultivation that overhang the property boundary, including overhanging footpaths and verges, must be trimmed back to the property boundary line and have a minimum vertical height clearance of 4m above ground level.

All land with an area of 2,000m²/0.2ha or more

  • A firebreak, not less than 3m wide, must be cleared immediately inside and around all external boundaries of the land.
  • All tree branches and shrubs that over-hang a firebreak must be trimmed back to a minimum height of 4m above ground level.
  • After mowing or slashing is carried out, the height of the vegetation must not exceed 50mm over the entire area of the firebreak.

Land with buildings and with an area of 2000m²/0.2ha or more

  • A firebreak, not less than 3m wide, must be cleared around all structures and immediately inside and around all external boundaries of the land.
  • All tree branches and shrubs that over-hang a firebreak must be trimmed back to a minimum height of 4m above ground level.
  • After mowing or slashing is carried out, the height of the vegetation must not exceed 50mm over the entire area of the firebreak.
  • All buildings, including roofs, gutters and walls on the land must be free of flammable material.

Alternative firebreaks

If a firebreak is impractical along your boundary for environmental or other reasons, property owners should notify the City in writing by 15 October to obtain permission for firebreaks in alternative positions or of a different nature. The above firebreak requirements will continue to apply to your property until and unless the City approves alternative firebreaks in writing.

Additional works to reduce hazards

Regardless of land size and location, the City may require a property owner to undertake additional works on their property to improve access and/or undertake further works where in the opinion of the City, these works would be conducive to preventing the outbreak and/or spread or extension of a bushfire.

Prohibited and Restricted Burning Times

The prohibited burning period for the City of Joondalup, pursuant to section 17 of the Bush Fires Act 1954 shall be between 15 December to 31 March inclusive each year.

The restricted burning period for the City of Joondalup, pursuant to section 18 of the Bush Fires Act 1954 shall be all year round from 1 January to 31 December.

Permit to Burn

Burning is not permitted during the City of Joondalup’s Prohibited Burning Times.

A permit to burn is required during the City of Joondalup’s Restricted Burning Times.

Permit to burn applications must be made in writing and will be assessed on an individual basis. The City is under no obligation to issue a permit to burn.

Total Fire Ban and Fire Danger Rating

No fire of any kind may be lit on a day when the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has declared a Total Fire Ban (TFB) and/or on a day when the forecast Fire Danger Rating (FDR) for the City of Joondalup is Very High or above.