Hazard Reduction Grass Tree Burning Program

A coordinated and planned approach is required to address fire management within the City in order to reduce the risk of fire occurrences that could result in damage to life, property and the environment.

Hazard reduction burning, prescribed burning, controlled burning and planned burning are interchangeable terms that describe burning in a predetermined area for the management and control of fuel loads. These types of fires are generally ‘cool’ and are undertaken in appropriate weather conditions so that the fire burns slowly at low intensity.

Hazard reduction Grass Tree burning mitigates the severity of wildfires/bushfires and reduces the potential impacts to the community and the environment by burning selected vegetation and ground fuels such as leaf litter, grasses and Grass Trees/Balgas in a mosaic pattern leaving burnt and unburnt areas to provide minimal impact to flora and fauna.

The introduction of hazard reduction Grass Tree burning within applicable reserves/bushland areas has been recommended as a bushfire mitigation strategy by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to reduce bushfire risk in applicable areas.

Further information on hazard reduction Grass Tree burning on public land can be found in the Hazard reduction Grass Tree burning on public land — Frequently Asked Questions in the link below.

Information on hazard reduction Grass Tree burning on private land can be found in the Hazard reduction Grass Tree burning on private land — Frequently Asked Questions in the link below.

Information on burning on private property (including refuse, barbecues and outdoor heaters) can be found in the Burning on private property (including refuse, barbecues and outdoor heaters) — Frequently Asked Questions in the link below.

To find out about any upcoming scheduled hazard reduction Grass Tree burns please see the City’s Public Notices, subscribe to the City’s Public Notices Online Newsletter and/or register for inclusion on the City’s Hazard Reduction Grass Tree Burning Notification Register below to receive an automated notification via SMS / text message or email.

  • (If applicable)
  • Postal address
    (Only if different to the Street Address)

The City will notify you by your preferred contact method when when a hazard reduction Grass Tree burn occurs within 200 metres of your residence.

Burn activities are subject to weather and operational resources.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) issue a range of warnings to inform and keep the community safe during significant incidents that may threaten lives and property. Not all fires will be listed on the DFES website, so it is recommended that the public contacts DFES directly on 133 337 or visit the DFES website for more specific information regarding localised or smaller fires within the City.

DFES Bushfire Preparedness Material, including Fire Chat and the Are You Ready campaign can be found on the DFES website along with links to:

  • Total Fire Bans (TFB)
  • Fire Danger Ratings (FDR)
  • Bushfires
  • Evaporative Air Conditioners
  • Home Safety
  • Plus more

Bush Fire Control Officers

City Officers are appointed as authorised Bush Fire Control Officers and can:

  • Send out firebreak and bushfire hazard letters to all owners/occupiers of vacant land
  • Conduct firebreak and bushfire hazard inspections from 1 November each year
  • Send out work orders for non-compliant firebreaks and re-inspect as required
  • Issue fines when required
  • Carry out fuel assessments
  • Investigate bushfire related enquiries.

 

Fire hazards

Regardless of land size and location, City Officers may require you to:

  • Undertake additional works on your property to improve access
  • Undertake additional works to minimise the outbreak and/or spread of a bushfire.

Offences under the Bush Fires Act 1954 can result in a fine ranging from $250.00 to $25,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months.

Offence Fine
Failure to maintain firebreak as per firebreak order $250.00
Offences relating to lighting a fire in the open air $250.00
Setting fire to bush during prohibited burning times $250.00
Failure of occupier to extinguish bush fire $250.00
Refusal to provide name and address $100.00

 

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.

Bushfire risk management

The objectives of bushfire management within the City of Joondalup include:

  • Protecting life, critical infrastructure, property and the environment
  • Fulfilling obligations under bushfire-related legislation and undertaking best-practice bushfire management
  • Maintaining and enhancing biodiversity values within natural areas
  • Ensuring long term survival of native wildlife populations
  • Minimising adverse impacts on regional air quality
  • Providing consistency within the City’s operations regarding bushfire risk management.

To reduce the risk of a bushfire occurrence within the City of Joondalup, several bushfire management actions have been implemented including:

  • Weed control (mechanical and chemical)
  • Installation and maintenance of firebreaks and fire access ways on City owned or managed land
  • Annual firebreak and bushfire hazard inspections on all vacant land and bushland within the City
  • Fuel assessments on bushland greater than 2,000m²/0.2ha
  • Controlled access to sites
  • Community education.