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02 Household bushfire site assessment
Your workbook (2nd edition)

Contents
  Introduction
     Building and planning permit applications
  Defendable space
  Why you need defendable space
  Further sources of information
  Using this workbook
     Section 1: Information collection
     Section 2: Data entry
     Section 3: Understanding your results
  Section 1: Information Collection
     1.1 Identifying the vegetation type
     1.2 Identifying the slope - flat ground/down slope/up slope
     1.3 Calculating the degree of slope
     1.4 Measuring distance to your property boundary
  Section 2: Data entry
     2.1 Identifying the slope
     2.2 Calculating the degree of slope
     2.3 Identifying vegetation type
     2.4 Distance to property boundary
     2.5 Working out your defendable space
     2.6 Identifying your defendable space requirements
  Section 3: Understanding your defendable space results
     3.1 If your defendable space requirements have not been met
     3.2 If you have met the minimum defendable space requirements
     3.3 Code Red (catastrophic)
     3.4 Defendable space vegetation management requirements
     3.5 Managing vegetation over your fence
     3.6 The 10/30 right
  Summary
Introduction

Welcome to the Household Bushfire Site Assessment Workbook. This
assessment workbook will provide you with the first step in developing your
Bushfire Survival Plan, and will assist you in making an informed decision on
whether to leave early well before bushfire threatens or to stay to actively defend
a well-prepared home.

The Household Bushfire Site Assessment Workbook has been designed to be
used with the other resources in the Fire Ready Kit, along with other CFA
education programs on bushfire preparedness and planning.

If you are unable to use this Household Bushfire Site Assessment
workbook, please phone the helpline on 1800 068 611 or email
hbsat@cfa.vic.gov.au

Alternatively, an online version with a defendable space calculator is
available. Please visit the CFA website www.cfa.vic.gov.au



Building and planning permit applications

For residents applying for a building or planning permit, this workbook and
associated results are not a substitute for the Building In A Wildfire Management
Overlay - Applicant’s Kit 2007.

If you would like a copy of Building In A Wildfire Management Overlay -
Applicant’s Kit 2007 to assist you with these applications, you will need to contact
either your local council, download a copy from the CFA website
www.cfa.vic.gov.au or contact your regional CFA office.



Defendable space

Defendable space is an area around your home where you have modified and
managed the vegetation to reduce a bushfire’s intensity. By having defendable
space you will reduce the amount of direct flame contact and radiant heat on
your house.

Creating a defendable space does not make it safe for you to be outside during a
bushfire. It only reduces the impact a bushfire may have on your house and the
likelihood of your home igniting from radiant heat and direct flame contact.
To ensure the protection of life from radiant heat, people must remain
inside the house while the fire front passes. Please read CFA’s Radiant
Heat brochure for further information.

You need to be aware that your house will still be at risk from fires caused
by ember attack.



Why you need defendable space

Determining if you have enough defendable space is a critical part of deciding
your Bushfire Survival Plan. Without defendable space you and your home may
not survive the passage of the fire front. The type, amount and proximity of
vegetation along with slope will influence the amount of defendable space
required for your house.

This information can assist you in determining whether additional vegetation
management is required. It will also help you decide whether to leave early, well
before bushfire threatens, or stay to actively defend your well-prepared home.

Sustained flame contact and excessive radiant heat is likely to overwhelm most
building materials and additional measures should be taken to protect buildings.

Residents should carefully consider whether their home is capable of providing
adequate shelter during a bushfire.



Further sources of information

Please use the booklet Defending Your Property (part of the Fire Ready Kit) for
minimum recommendations and treatments to assist in reducing the impact of
radiant heat, flame and embers on your home. Information on preparing your
home for ember attack, as well as developing your Bushfire Survival Plan, is
available in the Fire Ready Kit.

Further information regarding bushfire preparedness can also be obtained by
joining a Community Fireguard Group, attending a Fire Ready Victoria meeting in
your area or phoning the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240
667.



Using this workbook
This workbook has been produced to assist you to collect the information needed
to identify the minimum amount of defendable space your home will require in the
event of a bushfire. The three sections to work through are:



Section 1: Information collection

This section will guide you through the information you need to collect to
calculate your defendable space.



Section 2: Data entry

This section enables you to transfer the information that you have collected into
the correct data entry points and to calculate your defendable space.



Section 3: Understanding your results

This section will explain what your defendable space results mean. 6 Section 1:
Information Collection



Section 1: Information Collection

There are four important factors that must be considered when determining the
amount of defendable space your house requires:

   1.   Identifying vegetation type
   2.   Identifying the slope - flat ground, up slope or down slope
   3.   Calculating the degree of slope
   4.   Measuring distance to your property boundary.

In a bushfire-prone area the most severe fires usually approach from the north-
west under the influence of hot, dry winds, or from the south-west under the
influence of strong, gusting winds associated with a change of weather. The
northern and western aspects of a building require the most protection.

When collecting your information you will need to take into consideration
the area 100 metres from all sides of your home for both the Northwestern
and Eastern Zones. The Northwestern Zone includes all land anti-clockwise
from the north-east to the south relative to the building. The Eastern Zone
includes all remaining land.



1.1 Identifying the vegetation type

Identifying the type of vegetation around your property is critical to determining
the bushfire risk. You will need to assess the vegetation type correctly.


Use the following descriptions and images to determine the type of
vegetation you have within 100 metres from all sides of your home for both
the Northwestern and Eastern Zones. You may identify more than one type
of vegetation around your house.



Do you have a cultivated garden? (any tree height)

[__] Northwestern Zone
[__] Eastern Zone


Description:

    Highly managed urban or horticultural areas

    Typically these feature exotic and native vegetation in garden beds
     separated by open spaces of grass.

Vegetation examples

Example A

    Urban/rural interface residential subdivisions of small size house lots
    Cultivated gardens with mown or slashed grassed areas
    Scattered eucalypts, which are usually mature remnants of the original
     vegetation
    No regeneration of the forest
    Access by constructed roads and paths.


Example B

    Rural, township or bushland setting with larger residential lots
   Cultivated gardens with mown or slashed grassed areas
   Scattered eucalypts, which are usually mature remnants of the original
    vegetation
   No regeneration of the forest
   Access by constructed roads and paths (sealed and unsealed).



Do you have grassland with minimal trees? (any tree height)

[__] Northwestern Zone
[__] Eastern Zone


Description:

   Includes areas of grazed paddocks, with or without occasional trees
   Commonly rural residential areas, hobby farms or broad acre grazing
    properties.


Vegetation examples

Example A

   Isolated, scattered or clumped eucalypts, usually mature remnants of the
    original forest
   Open grassy paddocks grazed or slashed
   May have some regeneration of canopy or understorey trees that have
    been selectively retained
   Easy to walk through in any direction.


Example B

   Isolated, scattered or clumped eucalypts, usually mature remnants of the
    original forest
   Open grassy paddocks grazed or with crops
   No regeneration of canopy trees
   Easy to walk through in any direction.



Do you have low forest? (tree height 10 metres or less)
[__] Northwestern Zone
[__] Eastern Zone


Description:

    Tree heights less than 10 metres and canopy cover greater than 30 per
     cent
    Commonly found on sites with poor, rocky or sandy soils, lower rainfall, or
     areas exposed to extreme weather such as mountainous ridges or coastal
     areas.


Vegetation examples

Example A

    Very few shrubs, mostly grasses and other tussock plants in the
     understorey
    Moderate levels of leaf and twig litter
    Moderately easy to walk through
    Generally low rainfall, poor soils.


Example B

    Eucalypt canopy trees of usually multi-stem mallee habit
    Very few shrubs, grasses and other plants in the understorey
    Low to moderate levels of leaf and twig litter
    Easy to walk through
    Generally low rainfall, poor soils.



Do you have woodland? (any tree height, canopy less than 30 per
cent cover)

[__] Northwestern Zone
[__] Eastern Zone


Description:

Canopy cover of the trees is less than 30 per cent regardless of the height of the
trees There will be distinct spaces between the crowns of the trees.
Vegetation examples

Example A

   Highly modified remnant vegetation with extensive tree removal, no shrubs,
    and only occasional tussock plants
   Intensively mown with no shrub or tree regeneration
   Leaf and twig litter largely absent or mulched from frequent mowing or
    slashing
   Easy to walk through ‘park-like’ setting
   Generally moderate to high rainfall and deep soils.


Example B

   Sparse or patchy cover of shrubs, often spindly
   Grass cover sparse and patchy to negligible
   Low levels of leaf and twig litter separated by patches of bare earth
   Easy to walk through
   Generally low to moderate rainfall and poor soils.



Do you have shrub and heath? (no trees)

[__] Northwestern Zone
[__] Eastern Zone


Description:

   Generally shrubs less than three metres high, but ranging up to six metres
   Most plants tend to be tough and wiry with small scratchy leaves
   There may also be occasional trees but these are isolated
   Commonly found in coastal areas or damp locations associated with
    waterways or in poorly drained areas.


Vegetation examples

Example A

   Dense cover of mostly prickly shrubs that form the canopy
   May have some ferns and tussock plants underneath the canopy
   Very difficult to walk through or impenetrable
   Generally poorly drained (swampy) areas.


Example B

   Dense cover of mostly prickly shrubs that form the canopy
   May have some tussock plants in the understorey
   Very difficult to walk through or impenetrable
   Coastal areas on sandy soils.


Example C

   Dense patches of low prickly shrubs that may be separated by patches of
    tussock plants
   Moderately difficult to walk through
   Generally poor soils and/or poor drainage
   Frequently on exposed sites.



Do you have medium forest? (tree height 10 - 30 metres, canopy
cover greater than 30 per cent cover)

[__] Northwestern Zone
[__] Eastern Zone


Description:

   Generally eucalypt trees 10 to 30 metres in height and a canopy cover
    greater than 30 per cent
   Commonly with stringy bark, peppermint and box bark eucalypts
   May have a shrubby or grassy understorey
   Common vegetation type in fertile valleys, foothills and mountain areas.


Vegetation examples

Example A

   Scattered shrubs with grasses in between them
   Easy to walk through
   High levels of leaf and twig litter
   Generally poor, shallow soils.


Example B

   Dense, prickly shrub cover to three metres with some grasses
   High levels of leaf and twig litter
   Difficult to walk through
   Generally poor soils.



Do you have tall forest? (tree height 30 metres or more, canopy
greater than 30 per cent cover)

[__] Northwestern Zone
[__] Eastern Zone


Description:

   Eucalypt trees 30 metres high or more, and canopy cover greater than 30
    per cent
   May be stringy bark, peppermint or smooth gum bark eucalypts
   Typically with small trees, and large shrubs and ferns in the understorey
   Common in medium to high altitude areas, along waterways, or where there
    is high rainfall and/or well protected sites such as in gullies.


Vegetation examples

Example A

   Small trees and tall shrubs in the understorey, often with tree ferns and
    large tussock plants (sedges)
   Creepers and grasses climbing in the large shrubs and small trees
   High levels of leaf, twig and loose bark litter
   Difficult to walk through High rainfall, deep soils.


Example B

   Small trees and tall shrubs forming a dense understorey
   Sometimes with ferns, but usually with grasses, sedges and other tussock
    plants
    High levels of leaf and twig litter
    Difficult to walk through
    Generally moderate to high rainfall, deep soils.



1.2 Identifying the slope - flat ground/down slope/up slope

The slope of a property can affect the behaviour of a bushfire. Fire will travel
faster and with greater intensity uphill because vegetation in front of the fire is
preheated and will more readily ignite.

The slope of the land is measured from the direction from which a bushfire front
may approach your house.

You will need to select the slope for both the Northwestern and Eastern zones
within the 100 metres that surrounds your house.

Please tick the box for the image that best represents your house for both
zones.

Northwestern Zone
[__] Flat ground
[__] Down slope
[__] Up slope

Eastern Zone
[__] Flat ground
[__] Down slope
[__] Up slope



1.3 Calculating the degree of slope

You can skip calculating your degree of slope if you have identified flat
ground or up slope for both the Northwestern and Eastern Zone. Only
those with identified down slope must calculate the degree of slope.

When measuring the degree of down slope please ensure you measure the
steepest and most predominant down slope on your property.


Your degree of down slope

Fill in your measurement/s of your predominant down slope in the boxes below.
Northwestern Zone [__]
Eastern Zone [__]


There are several inexpensive and relatively easy ways to calculate the actual
slope on your land if you do not have a clinometer. We have provided you with
three different ways to calculate the actual degree of slope on your property.
Please select the method that best suits your needs.



a. Walking - How to measure degrees of slope by walking Degrees
Gradient Description

Degrees                        Gradient                     Description
20                             1 in 3                       Difficult climb
15                             1 in 4                       Hard climb, limit of 2WD
                                                            roads
10                             1 in 6                       Moderate to walk, too
                                                            steep for cycling
5                              1 in 10                      Easy to walk, but cycling
                                                            is difficult
0                              0 in 0                       Flat ground



b. Ruler - How to measure degrees of slope using a ruler

     1. Pick a spot between 40 and 100 metres away and have an assistant of
        similar height stand as a reference point. If you do not have an assistant
        pick a nearby tree as a reference point and tie a bright ribbon or tape
        around the trunk at your eye height.

     2. Standing at the edge of the slope or at some point on the slope to be
        measured, hold one end of a centimetre ruler 30cm in front of your face,
        level with your eye so that it hangs down.

     3. Looking past the ruler at the assistant’s head or marker, note how many
        centimetres on the ruler their head is below your eye level.

     4. The table below will convert this to a slope range.

     5. It is important to hold the end of the ruler at eye level and let it hang
        straight down 30cm in front so that a reasonable level of accuracy is
        gained.
Measurement on ruler (cm)                 Converted slope range (degrees)
Less than or equal to 0                   Up slope or flat
0 - 3cm                                   0 - 5 degrees
3 - 5cm                                   5 - 10 degrees
5 - 8cm                                   10 - 15 degrees
8 - 10cm                                  15 - 18 degrees
Greater than 10cm                         Greater than 18 degrees


c. Protractor - How to measure degrees of slope using a protractor


Measure degrees of slope using a protractor

   1. Attach the string to the protractor at the midpoint between the zero and
      180 degrees marks (the vertex of the angle).

   2. Hang a small weight on the end of the string to make a plumb-bob. The
      string should hang over the 90 degrees degree mark when the protractor’s
      flat edge is parallel to the ground.

   3. To measure the slope angle from the top of the slope, put your eye by the
      zero degree mark and sight along the flat edge of the protractor toward the
      bottom of the hill. If you are at the bottom, put your eye at the 180 degrees
      mark and look up toward the top.

   4. Check the new angle where the string falls when the plumb-bob is hanging
      straight down.

   5. To get the slope measurement in degrees, subtract 90 degrees from the
      new vertical angle. In this example, the new angle is 120 degrees, so the
      slope angle is 30 degrees (120 - 90 = 30).

   6. To be as accurate as possible, you should sight along the protractor’s
      edge to a point the same height above the ground as your eye. It helps to
      imagine someone of your height standing at the bottom (top) of the slope.



1.4 Measuring distance to your property boundary

The Northwestern Zone includes all land anti-clockwise from the north-east
to the south relative to the building. The Eastern Zone includes all
remaining land.
You will need to measure and record the shortest distance to your property
boundary/fence for the Northwestern and Eastern Zone of your house. It is
recommended that you draw in your property boundary and then write down the
shortest distance from the outside edge of your house to the boundary of your
property.

Tip: To assist you in measuring the distance to your boundary, one large adult
step is equal to approximately one metre.



Section 2: Data entry

You will need to transfer the information you have collected from Section 1
into the relevant sections below for each of the zones.



2.1 Identifying the slope
(Refer to page 14)

Northwestern Zone
[__] Down slope
[__] Flat/Up slope

Eastern Zone
[__] Down slope
[__] Flat/Up slope



2.2 Calculating the degree of slope
(Refer to pages 15 - 16)

Remember only those with identified down slope need to calculate degree
of slope.

Northwestern Zone [__]
Eastern Zone [__]



2.3 Identifying vegetation type
(Refer to pages 7 - 13) Please tick your vegetation type/s

Northwestern Zone
[__] Tall forest
[__] Medium forest
[__] Shrub or heath
[__] Woodland
[__] Low forest
[__] Grassland with minimal trees
[__] Cultivated gardens

Eastern Zone
[__] Tall forest
[__] Medium forest
[__] Shrub or heath
[__] Woodland
[__] Low forest
[__] Grassland with minimal trees
[__] Cultivated gardens



2.4 Distance to property boundary
(Refer to page 17)

Choose the distance that is the shortest from your house to your property
boundary.

Northwestern Zone
[__] metres

Eastern Zone
[__] metres



2.5 Working out your defendable space

You have identified the type of slope, the degree of slope and vegetation type on
page 18. Use this information to complete the following steps:


Step 1: Choose the table that identifies your type of slope from Section 2.1.
If you have identified a different type of slope for each zone then you must
choose the down slope in Table B with relevant degrees of slope. If you
have identified flat ground or up slope for both zones then go to Table A.

Step 2: If you have identified down slope choose the box in Table B that
matches your highest degree of slope.
Step 3: Tick your vegetation types within the table for each zone. Your
minimum defendable space distance is identified on the same line as your
vegetation type for each zone.

<transcribers note> The Example will not be transcribed </transcribers note>


Table A. Flat ground / Up slope
Type of slope - Flat ground / Up slope
Degree of slope - 0 degrees

 Vegetation type            Defendable space          Defendable space
                            distance required         distance required
                            (Please tick)             (Please tick)
                            Northwestern              Eastern
                            Zone                      Zone
 Tall forest                80 metres [__]            57 metres [__]
 Medium forest              61 metres [__]            44 metres [__]
 Shrub or heath             73 metres [__]            56 metres [__]
 Woodland                   30 metres [__]            30 metres [__]
 Low forest                 30 metres [__]            30 metres [__]
 Grassland with minimal     43 metres [__]            36 metres [__]
 trees
 Cultivated gardens*        30 metres* [__]           30 metres* [__]

Flat ground /
Table B. Down slope
Type of slope - Down slope
Degree of slope - 0-5 degrees

 Vegetation type            Defendable space          Defendable space
                            distance required         distance required
                            (Please tick)             (Please tick)
                            Northwestern              Eastern
                            Zone                      Zone
 Tall forest                98 metres [__]            70 metres [__]
 Medium forest              77 metres [__]            54 metres [__]
 Shrub or heath             73 metres [__]            56 metres [__]
 Woodland                   30 metres [__]            30 metres [__]
 Low forest                 30 metres [__]            30 metres [__]
 Grassland with minimal     45 metres [__]            43 metres [__]
 trees
 Cultivated gardens*        30 metres* [__]           30 metres* [__]
Table B. Down slope continued
Type of slope - Down slope
Degree of slope - 6-10 degrees

Vegetation type           Defendable space    Defendable space
                          distance required   distance required
                          (Please tick)       (Please tick)
                          Northwestern        Eastern
                          Zone                Zone
Tall forest               101 metres [__]     89 metres [__]
Medium forest             93 metres [__]      67 metres [__]
Shrub or heath            73 metres [__]      56 metres [__]
Woodland                  30 metres [__]      30 metres [__]
Low forest                30 metres [__]      30 metres [__]
Grassland with minimal    47 metres [__]      46 metres [__]
trees
Cultivated gardens*       30 metres* [__]     30 metres* [__]


Table B. Down slope continued
Type of slope - Down slope
Degree of slope - 11-15 degrees

Vegetation type           Defendable space    Defendable space
                          distance required   distance required
                          (Please tick)       (Please tick)
                          Northwestern        Eastern
                          Zone                Zone
Tall forest               105 metres [__]     99 metres [__]
Medium forest             96 metres [__]      85 metres [__]
Shrub or heath            73 metres [__]      56 metres [__]
Woodland                  35 metres [__]      30 metres [__]
Low forest                30 metres [__]      30 metres [__]
Grassland with minimal    50 metres [__]      48 metres [__]
trees
Cultivated gardens*       30 metres* [__]     30 metres* [__]


Table B. Down slope continued
Type of slope - Down slope
Degree of slope - 16-20 degrees

Vegetation type           Defendable space    Defendable space
                          distance required   distance required
                          (Please tick)       (Please tick)
                          Northwestern        Eastern
                            Zone                       Zone
 Tall forest                109 metres [__]            103 metres [__]
 Medium forest              100 metres [__]            95 metres [__]
 Shrub or heath             73 metres [__]             56 metres [__]
 Woodland                   47 metres [__]             30 metres [__]
 Low forest                 39 metres [__]             30 metres [__]
 Grassland with minimal     54 metres [__]             51 metres [__]
 trees
 Cultivated gardens*        30 metres* [__]            30 metres* [__]


Table B. Down slope continued
Type of slope - Down slope
Degree of slope - 21-25 degrees

 Vegetation type            Defendable space           Defendable space
                            distance required          distance required
                            (Please tick)              (Please tick)
                            Northwestern               Eastern
                            Zone                       Zone
 Tall forest                114 metres [__]            106 metres [__]
 Medium forest              104 metres [__]            98 metres [__]
 Shrub or heath             73 metres [__]             56 metres [__]
 Woodland                   63 metres [__]             40 metres [__]
 Low forest                 50 metres [__]             34 metres [__]
 Grassland with minimal     58 metres [__]             55 metres [__]
 trees
 Cultivated gardens*        42 metres* [__]            35 metres* [__]

* If you have selected cultivated garden as the only vegetation type for both the
Northwestern and Eastern zones for the area 100 metres from each side of your
house, your property has met the minimum defendable space requirements.



2.6 Identifying your defendable space requirements

Step 1: Using the information collected in Section 2.5, enter the minimum
defendable space required for both zones. If you have chosen more than
one vegetation type you will need to choose the longest defendable space
distance identified for each zone.

Step 2: Enter the shortest distance from your property boundary to your
house for each zone (collected from Section 2.4 on page 18).
Example 1

 Zone                 Minimum defendable           Distance to your property
                      space required (choose       boundary (choose the
                      the longest distance)        shortest distance)
 Northwestern Zone    47 metres                    40 metres
 Eastern Zone         30 metres                    40 metres

In the example above the minimum defendable space requirements have not
been met as distance required for the Northwestern zone is greater than the
property boundary. You must achieve the required distance for both zones.


Example 2

 Zone                 Minimum defendable           Distance to your property
                      space required (choose       boundary (choose the
                      the longest distance)        shortest distance)
 Northwestern Zone    98 metres                    105 metres
 Eastern Zone         70 metres                    90 metres

In the example above the minimum defendable space requirements have been
met for both zones.


 Zone                 Minimum defendable           Distance to your property
                      space required (choose       boundary (choose the
                      the longest distance)        shortest distance)
 Northwestern Zone
 Eastern Zone

Compare the distances of your property boundary (right column) to your
minimum defendable space requirements (left column) in the table above.

Is the distance to your property boundary for both zones the same as or
longer than the defendable space distance required?

NB. You must achieve the minimum required distance in both zones or you will
not meet your defendable space requirements.

[__] If yes - You have met the minimum defendable space required for both
zones. Please proceed to Section 3.2 and ensure you read carefully.

[__] If no - Your property is not big enough to achieve the minimum defendable
space requirements within your property boundary for both zones. Please
proceed to Section 3.1 and read carefully.
If you have a cultivated garden

If you have selected cultivated garden as the only vegetation type for both the
Northwestern and Eastern zones for the area 100 metres from each side of your
house, your property has met the minimum defendable space requirements.


NB: The distance that you have identified for defendable space is made up
of 2 zones, a 10 metre Inner Zone, and the remainder of the distance
required is the Outer Zone. These zones need to be managed differently.
See Section 3 for further information on managing vegetation within your
defendable space. 24



Section 3: Understanding your defendable space results


3.1 If your defendable space requirements have not been met

Your property is not big enough to achieve the required defendable space within
your property boundaries. This means you are reliant on vegetation management
on neighbouring properties. If land beyond your property boundary is being
managed to the defendable space vegetation management requirements, it may
be appropriate to include it as part of your defendable space. You will need to
monitor vegetation outside your property boundary during the summer period. If
the vegetation changes during summer then you should recalculate your
defendable space requirements.

Consider leaving early well before bushfire threatens if you are unable to meet
the defendable space required. For further information that will help you to better
plan, prepare and understand what is required when planning to leave early,
please read the information in the Fire Ready Kit.

Other factors for consideration: If you believe that your property may be
defendable, please contact the Helpline on 1800 068 611.



3.2 If you have met the minimum defendable space requirements

If you have met the recommended minimum defendable space requirements, you
will still need to take into consideration the information contained in the Fire
Ready Kit, as identifying your defendable space is only one step in developing
your Bushfire Survival Plan.

The data that you have provided indicates that you are able to create the
minimum defendable space requirements within the boundaries of your property.
You will now need to maintain the vegetation within your defendable space for
both your 10 metre Inner Zone and your Outer Zone. This is detailed in section
3.4.



3.3 Code Red (catastrophic)

On days that have a Code Red (catastrophic) Fire Danger Rating, you
should reassess your decision to stay to actively defend even a well-
prepared home. On these days it is safer to leave the night before or early
in the morning if you live in a bushfire-prone area. There is no guarantee
that your home is defendable in all conditions.

Defendable space does not make it safe for you to be outside as a bushfire front
passes.

To be protected from radiant heat and direct flame contact people must stay
inside the house while the fire front passes and actively patrol for spot fires within
the house.

Staying to actively defend your house involves risk of death, injury and
emotional trauma.

Survival must be your main priority.



3.4 Defendable space vegetation management requirements

The minimum required defendable space distances that you have identified
has two zones; the Inner Zone and Outer Zone.

    The 10m Inner Zone is closest to your house where the vegetation is
     required to be maintained to a minimum set of requirements
    The remainder of the distance is the Outer Zone and this is the space
     between the Inner Zone and unmodified vegetation.


Inner Zone Management Requirements
    Grass must be no more than 100mm (10cm) in height
    Fallen leaves must no more than 10mm (1cm) deep
    No shrubs over 1 metre next to or below windows
    No trees overhanging the roofline.


Outer Zone management requirements

    Grass must be no more than 100mm (10cm) in height
    Fallen leaves must be no more than 20mm (2cm) deep
    There must be no shrubs or hanging dead material (detached branches or
     bark) on at least 50% of the Outer Zone
    Clumps of shrubs need to be isolated from one another by at least 10
     metres.



3.5 Managing vegetation over your fence

To achieve your minimum defendable space distance requirements, you may
need to consider the management of vegetation over your fence.

Please contact the owners of the land abutting your property before you attempt
to manage any vegetation that is not on your own property.



3.6 The 10/30 right

In September 2009, the Victorian Government announced the introduction of new
planning permit exemptions for the clearing of native vegetation for bushfire
protection. This is known as the "10/30 right".

Under the changes, no planning permit will be required to undertake the following
measures for bushfire protection if outside the metropolitan area. Please check
the website www.cfa.vic.gov.au or with your local council.

The new planning exemptions give residents who own their property the right to:

    Remove, destroy or lop any vegetation within 10 metres of a building used
     for accommodation

    Remove, destroy or lop any vegetation, except for trees (ie. ground fuel),
     within 30 metres of a building used for accommodation
    Remove, destroy or lop any vegetation for a combined maximum width of
     four metres either side of boundary fences. You need to have prior written
     permission from the landowner for clearance on their side of the fence.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) has produced
information sheets on the new vegetation management guidelines. These are
available from www.dse.vic.gov.au



Summary

    Defendable space is an area around your home that has reduced
     vegetation to decrease a bushfire’s intensity. You will still experience a
     bushfire front, however as it passes the area around your home that has
     reduced and managed vegetation the radiant heat and direct flame contact
     will be reduced
    The radiant heat levels will only be reduced enough to help the building
     survive the passage of the fire front. People cannot survive outside during
     the passage of the fire front and must remain inside a building
    Your house will still be at risk from fires caused by ember attack
    Confirming whether you have achieved the minimum defendable space
     requirements for your property will help you decide whether you need to
     consider leaving early or can stay to actively defend
    Creating and maintaining defendable space is only one part of preparing
     your property for bushfire
    Please use the information found in Preparing Your Property to prepare for
     the fire season regardless of your decision to leave early or to stay and
     actively defend
    The information in the Leaving Early booklet will help you plan what your
     trigger is to leave, where you will go and what you will take
    The Defending Your Property booklet will help you plan and prepare for
     dealing with a bushfire on your property
    Remember that even if you have achieved the minimum defendable space
     requirements it is advised to leave early on all days declared Code Red
     (catastrophic) - either early in the morning or the night before
    On days declared Code Red (catastrophic) even well prepared homes with
     adequate defendable space may be undefendable.


Notes

<transcriber's note> Blank lines for additional notes </transcriber's note>


CFA Headquarters: 8 Lakeside Drive, East Burwood VIC 3151
T: +61 3 9262 8444
F: +61 3 9264 6200
E: feedback@cfa.vic.gov.au
W: www.cfa.vic.gov.au
CFA Postal Address: PO Box 701, Mount Waverley VIC 3149

				
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