Bush fires

As a land manager, we undertake a range of work relating to bush fire risk management including:

  • Proactive fire hazard inspections for Council managed land;
  • An ongoing program of asset protection zone (fire break) maintenance on Council managed land to lessen potential impacts of fire on adjoining premises;
  • Working with the Rural Fire Service and Fire & Rescue NSW to deliver fuel management burns on Council land;
  • Maintenance of fire trails on Council managed land; and
  • Assisting the Rural Fire Service and Fire & Rescue NSW with the community awareness and engagement.

Council is a member of the Blue Mountains Bush Fire Management Committee (BFMC), which consists of representatives of land management and emergency service organisations within the City. This committee is responsible for developing and coordinating fire management strategies for the whole of the Blue Mountains local government area. One of the primary roles of the BFMC is to produce a Blue Mountains Bush Fire Risk Management Plan to guide fire management activities within this area. The Bush Fire Risk Management Plan for the Blue Mountains can be found on the RFS website.

Emergency management

We play an important role in supporting responses to emergency events, including the provision of specialist plant (such as water tankers), equipment and personnel to agencies involved in emergency response and disaster recovery.

We provide and support the Emergency Operations Centre if a coordinated multi-agency response to an emergency is required.

We also facilitate and provide executive services to the Local Emergency Management Committee, which is made up of representatives of each emergency service and other supporting agencies that operate within the local government area. One of the key responsibilities of this committee is to produce a Local Emergency Management Plan, which details arrangements to coordinate emergency response and recovery operations during major emergency events.

Bush fire survival planning

The Blue Mountains is an inherently bush fire prone area, both as a result of the widespread bushland and historic patterns of development.

It is important that people who live in or regularly visit a bush fire prone area have a bush fire survival plan for themselves, their family and their homes and properties.

It is your responsibility to plan and prepare for a bush fire in your area, and it is critical that you understand your own personal level of risk.

The Rural Fire Service has produced a range of information to help in the bush fire survival planning process - visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

For further advice on bush fire survival planning and/or property preparation, you can contact your local Rural Fire Brigade or the RFS Blue Mountains District Office on 4784 7444.

Bush fire insurance cover

Is your insurance current and adequate?

The cost of building or rebuilding your home to current bush fire protection standards can be significant, and under-insurance has been a major issue in recent bushfire disasters. You should check with your insurer each time your policy is renewed to ensure that building to modern standards has been taken into account in your insured value.

All Councils are required to map land that is considered bush fire prone in accordance with guidelines published by the Rural Fire Service. Mapping for the Blue Mountains is publicly available through our interactive mapping.

Bush fire prone property classification is simply a trigger for consideration of bush fire protection measures as part of a development, and does not convey any information about the level of risk at a given site. A site specific bushfire attack level (BAL) assessment is required to determine these requirements.

The BAL will influence the level of construction, and therefore the cost, of building/rebuilding on a property. The BAL rating needs to be determined on a case by case basis and it is not possible to provide property owners with their BAL rating on a rates notice or property certificate.

Information to assist residents in determining the BAL rating for their house is available at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au. Further information can be obtained from a qualified bush fire consultant, with Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA) accreditation. A list is available at www.fpaa.com.au. Alternatively a BAL Certificate may also be obtained from us using the BAL Certificate Application form.