Bushfire management

If you live within a bushfire-prone area there will always be a risk that you may be injured or killed during a bushfire and/or your property destroyed.

When a bushfire threatens your home your safest option is to leave early.

To reduce the risk of your home being damaged or destroyed in a bushfire you need to maintain a defendable space between your home and any nearby unmanaged vegetation. If you choose to stay and defend your home during a bushfire, an established and well maintained defendable space is essential. Defendable spaces will help reduce the risk of your home being damaged or ignited by direct flame contact or from the intense heat radiated from a fire front. It will also reduce the risk from wind-blown burning embers that are generated by bushfires.

With planning we can manage bushfire risk and maintain the habitat for our native plants and animals.

Be prepared

  • Maintain a hazard zone around your home. This is an area of managed vegetation that is less likely to burn in a bushfire. Even if you plan to leave early, you will need a well maintained hazard zone to defend your home during a bushfire. For more information see the Tasmania Fire Service website.
  • Reduce the bushfire hazard on your property where it is a threat to assets on your neighbour’s property.
  • Some properties can use the domestic kerbside green waste collection service to dispose of cleared vegetation. Do not dump waste in council reserves.
  • Observe total fire bans.
  • Report any fires to 000 emergency number.
  • Report any suspicious activity in bushland areas to Tasmania Police on  131 444 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
  • Contact us on 03 6217 9500 if you find any fallen trees or branches blocking fire trails, or anything else you think may increase the risk of bushfires in our reserves.

Frequently asked questions

Who is responsible for managing bushfire risk?

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We all have a responsibility to manage the bushfire hazard on our property, particularly where it increases the bushfire risk to our neighbours’ property.

Is my house in a bushfire prone area?

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Houses within 100 metres of unmanaged vegetation of more than one hectare in size are in a bushfire prone area. Houses more than 100 metres from bushland may also be at risk during major bushfires.

Is all vegetation a bushfire hazard?

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Fine fuel in a hazard zone, particularly in the shrub layer, has a far greater influence on bushfire intensity than larger fuels such as logs, fallen branches and solitary trees. In a hazard zone remove all flammable trees, shrubs, overhanging vegetation, wood piles and blockages in your guttering.

What is council doing to reduce the bushfire risk?

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As of December 2015, approximately 78% of the Clarence municipality has been classified as ‘bushfire prone’, under the Clarence Interim Planning Scheme 2015.

Planned burns are carried out to reduce fuel loads and help maintain the environment in the reserves. Bushfire fuel is managed by slashing and manual removal. We also maintain fire breaks along reserve edges and fire trails within reserves to ensure access by Tasmanian Fire Service vehicles.

It is not possible to completely prevent bushfires from impacting land managed by council. On days of above severe fire danger ratings, fires will be unpredictable, uncontrollable and fast moving, and there is potential for them to burn substantial areas of the reserves causing damage to assets, environmental values, and even loss of life. These fires may also impact adjoining land, further threatening life and assets.

Fire danger ratings above a severe level occur in Tasmania around three times a year. Ratings above extreme have occurred only half a dozen times in Tasmania during the last 90 years. Due to the possible impact of climate change, the potential for high fire danger rating days is increasing (TFS, 2016).

Council Bushfire Management Strategy and Plans

Council has a bushfire management strategy, which includes bushfire management plans for most council reserves, to assist in delivering a holistic management approach to mitigating impacts of bushfires in Clarence.