Bush fire prone land is an area of land that can support a bush fire or is likely to be subject to bush fire attack. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 requires councils to map bush fire prone land within their local government area.
Bush Fire Prone Land Map
Bush fire prone land maps are prepared using the NSW Rural Fire Service's (NSW RFS) 'Guide for Bush Fire Prone Land Mapping'. Maps are required to be certified by the Commissioner of the NSW RFS and updated every five years to reflect changes in vegetation or legislation.
Council has undertaken a review of the bush fire prone land map certified by the NSW RFS in 2009. The review was undertaken in accordance with the NSW Rural Fire Service's 'Guide for Bush Fire Prone Land Mapping' and a new bush fire prone land map prepared for certification. View the Newcastle Bush Fire Prone Lands Update 2016 report (PDF)
Council submitted the revised bush fire prone land map to the NSW RFS and the map was certified on 10 July 2018.
The new bush fire prone land map has resulted in an additional land being designated as bush fire prone land. Due to the additional bush fire prone land approximately 670 new properties have been identified as bush fire prone. Our Bush Fire Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) provide further information regarding the bushfire prone land mapping process and outcomes for development.
Is my property mapped as bush fire prone land?
There are 3 ways to find out if your property is bush fire prone land:
- Use the interactive bushfire prone land enquiry map below
- Find your property on the static bushfire prone land map (PDF)
- Apply for a Section 10.7 - Planning Certificate from City of Newcastle. The planning certificate will include a statement whether the land, or part of the land, is bush fire prone or that the land is not bush fire prone land.
Bushfire prone land enquiry map
To use the bushfire prone land enquiry map use the following steps:
- Type your address into the search bar on the map. As you type, your address will appear in the drop down list. Select your address
- Once your address is selected the map will proceed to your property on the map.
What do the colours on the bush fire prone land map mean?
Bush fire prone land is separated into 3 categories based on vegetation type and potential bush fire risk:
- Vegetation Category 1 (red): Land considered to be the highest risk for bushfire and surrounded by a 100m buffer (buffer is yellow)
- Vegetation Category 2 (light orange): Land is considered to be a lower bush fire risk than categories 1 and 3. Surrounded by a 30m buffer (buffer is yellow).
- Vegetation Category 3 (dark orange): Land is considered to be a medium bush fire risk. Surrounded by a 30m buffer (buffer is yellow).
Are there specific requirements for development on bush fire prone land?
New development, or alterations and additions to an existing development, that requires the submission of a development application is required to meet relevant specifications and requirements of the NSW RFS Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 (as amended) This publication also requires development to meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas.
Not all development on bush fire prone land requires the submission of a development application to Council. State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 provides certain types of development may be undertaken as either Exempt Development or Complying Development.
Certain applications for a Complying Development Certificate must be supported by a Bush Fire Attack Level Risk Assessment (FALRA) Certificate prepared by a bush fire consultant accredited by the NSW RFS. The certificate will state the Bush Fire Attack Level (BAL) that applies to your property and the proposed development. If the BAL is BAL-40 or BAL-FZ (Flame Zone) the development cannot be a Complying Development and a development application is to be submitted.
Further information is available from the NSW Rural Fire Service website.
What information regarding bush fire risk must be submitted with a development application?
A development application for development on bush fire prone land must be supported by a Bush Fire Assessment Report or a FALRA Certificate prepared in accordance with the requirements of the NSW RFS.
If a dwelling house or alterations and additions to a dwelling house, or certain development ancillary to a dwelling house, is proposed a self-assessment report using the NSW Rural Fire Service's Single Dwelling Application Kit may be undertaken. Alternatively, a bush fire consultant accredited by the NSW Rural Fire Service can be engaged to prepare the bushfire report.
Other forms of development will require a bushfire report prepared by an experienced bushfire consultant.
Will my development application be referred to the Rural Fire Service?
The following development applications will be referred to the NSW RFS for consideration as part of the development assessment process:
- Development that does not meet the relevant performance criteria of 'Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 'and/or where an alternative solution is proposed
- Development involving BAL-40 and BAL-FZ(Flame Zone)
- Integrated Development.
Integrated development refers to development identified under section 100 of the Rural Fires Act 1997 that requires a Bush Fire Safety Authority from the Commissioner of the RFS. Such development includes:
- Subdivision for residential or rural residential purposes
- Development for a special fire protection purpose.