By taking preparatory measures throughout the year, you can reduce the risk of losing your home during a bush fire.
Building in Bushfire Areas
After the 2001 bushfires at Christmas time in Sydney the Planning for Bushfire Protection (PBP) was adopted. This document sets out specifications for building on land identified as bush fire prone.
Is Your Home Located in a Bushfire Zone?
Fire Affected Tree Removal on Private Land
There are several ways to remove fire affected trees on private land.
1. Trees in imminent Danger of Falling
If trees are in imminent danger of falling and causing damage to life or property, the State Emergency Service (SES) should be contacted on 132 500 or engage a qualified arborist. Evidence should be collected in the form of photos and provided to council as soon practical after the danger has been addressed.
2. Tree Removal Request
Tree removal requests in Rural (RU) Zones identified under the Wollondilly Local Environmental Plan 2011 should be directed to the Local Lands Service (South East) - Moss Vale office - (02) 4877 3211.
You can also check the RFS 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme page and search with your address to see whether you can remove vegetation under State Government legislation, without approval from Council.
3. 10/50 vegetation clearing
If you live in an area close to the bush, you need to prepare your home. The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme gives people living near the bush an additional way of being better prepared for bush fires.
The scheme allows people in a designated area to:
- Clear trees on their property within 10 metres of a home, without seeking approval; and
- Clear underlying vegetation such as shrubs (but not trees) on their property within 50 metres of a home, without seeking approval.
You can find out if your property is in a 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area using our online tool.
The 10/50 scheme is supported by the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice which you must read and comply with when undertaking any clearing under this scheme. Failure to read and comply with this document invalidates the 10/50 clearing entitlement and may result in penalties.
Properties Located in Non-Rural Zones
Properties located in all non rural zones can be directed to Council for advice. Approval will be required for all clearing not covered by a 10/50 entitlement. Resources have been allocated to deal with these applications quickly.
Landowners who are seeking to remove dead or structurally unsafe fire affected trees from their property, can request an exemption from the requirement to obtain formal approval from Council.
To request this exemption from Council’s Tree and Vegetation Assessment Officer email Council with “clearing fire affected trees” and your property address in the subject. Your contact details and a brief description and/or photos of the proposed clearing should be included in the message body.
Bushfire Damaged Vegetation
Vegetation that has been burnt by bushfire will often regenerate over time. Being impacted by bushfire is not a reason to conduct clearing of the vegetation and requires the same approval process that was in place prior to the bushfires.
Illegal clearing of vegetation is still an offence and allegations of clearing will be investigated by the relevant governing body.
Fire Affected Street Tree Removal
Council’s Arborist has assessed fire affected trees on road verges and public land. Where trees were identified as unsafe or structurally compromised, they have been removed by Council or its contractor. Ongoing monitoring will continue with further works arranged as required.