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Firebreaks

A firebreak is the strip of land cleared of all trees, bushes, grasses or flammable material.

Firebreaks are critical as they can minimise the spread of fire and allow access by emergency vehicles.

To be effective a firebreak must be a minimum three metres wide and extend along all external boundaries of a property.

Burning off is prohibited within the Town of Cambridge. 

Firebreak Requirements

Firebreaks are a legal requirement under Section 33 of the Bush Fires Act 1954. Property owners must clear firebreaks on or before 16 November, or within 14 days of becoming the owner of occupier of the land, and maintain them up to and including 31 March the following year.

Where the land area is 2000m2 or less

Slash/mow all grass to a height no greater than five centimetres and remove all slashed materials and other flammable matter from the land.  This standard must be maintained until 31 March each year.

Where the land area is more than 2000m2

Slash/mow all grass to a height no greater than five centimetres and remove all slashed materials and/or install a firebreak of three metres wide, clear of all bush and flammable material along all external boundaries of the land.  This standard must be maintained until 31 March each year.

Clearing a firebreak includes trimming trees, bushes, shrubs or any other object overhanging a firebreak zone.

Fire Prevention Checklist

  • clear vegetation / rubbish from the perimeter of your home and from fence boundaries
  • relocate combustible material stored close to a house
  • install and maintain smoke detectors;
  • clear leaves from gutters
  • check trees are not overhanging power lines. If they are, seek advice from Western Power on 13 13 51
  • prevent a build up of combustible material on your property

5 Minute Fire Chat

In a bushfire every five minutes counts, especially your next five minutes, discuss these three key questions with your family, friends and neighbours:

  • When will you know to leave?
  • Where will you go?
  • Which way will you go?

Get the answers, prepare, act and survive.

Visit 5 Minute Fire Chat and download your detailed fire plan

Alternatives

If for some reason it is considered impracticable to install a firebreak or remove flammable material from the land, you can apply to the Council in writing, by 9 November, for permission to provide a firebreak in an alternative position or take other measures to remove or reduce the fire risk.

Penalties

Firebreaks are a legal requirement and failure to comply can result in a penalty of $250.

Where an owner or occupier fails to install or maintain a firebreak, the Town will install the firebreak and recover the costs.

More information

For more information please contact us on (08) 9347 6000 or visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website.