PROPERTY BUSHFIRE PREPARATIONS
What is a firebreak?
Firebreaks help slow or stop the spread of low intensity bushfires. They also provide access for firefighters and firefighting appliances. It is your responsibility to establish and maintain firebreaks on your property.
Firebreaks must be positioned within the perimeter of your property, as well as being installed around your house, permanent structures, stationary engines and flammable materials.
Make sure your firebreaks are free from vegetation greater than 50mm high, and all slashed or dried material has been removed.
All firebreaks must be at least 4m wide, with some extra requirements within Emergency Response Areas (ERA). See overleaf for a location of the ERA for the Darwin area.
Things to consider
Firebreaks are legally required under the Fire and Emergency Act 1996 and the Bushfires Management Act 2016, and must be maintained where accessible all year round. Properties without compliant firebreaks may be subject to an infringement notice or other enforcement actions.
Keep vegetation to a minimum by removing dried grass, dead leaves and branches. It is also a good idea to ensure grass and other flammable material is not growing under cars or other objects on your property.
Within the ERA – NT Fire and Rescue Service
If you require advice or are unable to have your firebreaks installed annually by 1 June, it is your responsibility to contact your nearest NTFRS fire station to avoid any penalty. Around all dwellings and buildings an 8m wide firebreak is recommended instead of the regulation 4m. Well–maintained gardens or lawn areas bordering these structures are permitted in place of firebreaks.
Outside the ERA – Bushfires NT
You must seek Bushfires NT approval if your perimeter firebreak deviates from your property’s boundary. For example, a firebreak may need to go around a rocky outcrop or a large tree.
Gamba grass must be controlled within 15m of all property boundaries, driveways and structures. Smaller land parcels (less than 3 hectares) must be working towards eradication of all gamba grass. For more information on gamba grass visit nt.gov.au/gamba.