While the management of fuel loads on public land is an important aspect of bushfire mitigation, Wingecarribee Shire Council believes that the best defence against loss or damage as a result of bushfire is a well prepared home with an adequate and well maintained asset protection zone.
It is recommended that all property owners throughout the Wingecarribee Shire take appropriate action to prepare their own properties for the effects of bushfire.
Results of scientific studies conducted by the CSIRO have shown that ember attack (embers blown by the wind) was responsible for the majority of houses damaged or destroyed by bushfire. You can minimise the effect that ember attack will have on your home by undertaking a few simple tasks.
- Regular cleaning of gutters to prevent a build up of leaves and sticks
- Removal of flammable materials such as woodpiles and dead/dry plants and grass from around your home
- Fitting wire mesh screens to windows and doors
- Enclosing spaces where embers could enter the structure of your home such as underfloor areas and under eaves
Implementing these simple measures will reduce the probability that embers will settle on and ignite either your home or materials adjacent to it.
Creating an asset protection zone around your home will also reduce the chances of the fire front actually reaching your house (direct flame contact) and will reduce the effects of radiant heat.
An asset protection zone:
- is an area of ground that has been cleared and maintained to minimise the amount of fuel available to a fire. When a fire approaches a well-prepared asset protection zone, it runs out of fuel and the intensity of the fire diminishes. In some cases a fire may even self extinguish.
- needs to be suited to both the vegetation surrounding your property and the aspect and slope of the land.
- does not need to be cleared to bare earth, but it should aim to reduce the amount of fuel available to a fire as the fire front approaches.
Hotspots is a community engagement program that provides private landholders and land managers with the skills and knowledge to actively participate in fire management for the protection of life and property, while at the same time ensuring biodiversity is protected and maintained.
For more information on the Hotspots Program, fire management planning information and other resources please contact the Hotspots Program at the NSW RFS on 02 8741 5555 or visit:
The NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW Nature Conservation Council are partnering with Wingecarribee Shire Council to deliver fire management training for landholders living or managing properties in bush fire prone areas.
To register your interest in attending these workshops contact:
Bruce Hansen - NSW RFS
Council's Bushfire Management Officer
Telephone: 02 4868 0888