Development applications on bush fire prone land must include a Bush Fire Assessment Report. The report must comply with:

  • Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019 (published by the Rural Fire Service), and
  • The specific objectives and performance criteria for the proposed land use.

For most single dwellings, you can complete the report using the Single Dwelling Application Kit. This and other documents are available from the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)

The Bushfire Attack Level, or BAL rating, is a measure of the different levels of bushfire intensity that a home may experience in a bushfire. There are 6 BAL levels: BAL-LOW, BAL 12.5, BAL 19, BAL 29, BAL 40 and BAL FZ (Flame Zone). BAL LOW is the lowest risk category and BAL FZ is the highest. The BAL rating is determined by applying the method outlined in Appendix 1 of the RFS publication Planning for Bushfire Protection.

Calculating BAL ratings

The BAL rating is not pre-determined for your property. It is based on a combination of:

  • The region where you live.
  • The vegetation type around your property.
  • The distance from your home to individual vegetation types.
  • Slope of the ground under the vegetation.

For these reasons, it is not possible to provide a BAL rating for a property without knowledge of these different elements, including where on the site the building is located. The BAL and the level of construction required is both site specific and building specific, and different BAL ratings can apply to various elevations of the same building.

BAL ratings are different for each property and do not apply to towns or streets

You can get an idea about what BAL might apply to your development from the RFS Single Dwelling Application Kit. Alternatively, and on higher risk levels you may engage Council or an accredited bushfire consultant to issue a BAL Certificate for your development. To engage Council, please complete the form below. Fees apply

The Certificate is indicative. The BAL rating is confirmed as part of the development application process.