Last month, new laws were introduced to help residents further protect their homes from potential bushfire damage.

 

Why the new rules are important

Bushfires can have devastating effects on homes and lives. Last season, over 200 homes were destroyed and another 100 damaged by bushfires. Once a bushfire has started, there are 3 elements which can contribute to its continued growth:

  • Fuel: This includes vegetation and other flammable materials
  • Weather: This includes the wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity
  • Topography: This includes the way the land slopes or elevates and the effect of this on wind

While you cannot control weather or topography, all residents can control the amount of fuel around their homes. And this is a huge step in protecting your residence from the unlikely event of a bushfire. When preparing your home for the bushfire season (and protecting it during the season), you should be looking to reduce and remove all fuel which is in close proximity to your home. By reducing the “fuel” around your home, you can help reduce the risk of bushfire damage to the house. Fuel comes in all types and sizes from grass to twigs, trees, shrubs and crops.

 

What the new rules mean for you

The new 10/50 vegetation clearing rule removes much of the red tape which has previously restricted residents from removing trees and shrubs close to their homes. Under the new rules, residents can easily clear the fuel to create a defendable area to reduce the risk of bushfire damage.

First, check your property is in the eligible zone for 10/50 vegetation clearing. This information can be found on the NSW Rural Fire Services page here> http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/1050-vegetation-clearing/tool

Once you have confirmed you are in an eligible area, these are the key points you need to know:

  • You may clear all trees to a maximum of 10m from your home. This clearing can only be from your habitable dwelling; ie it does not include sheds or other structures that are not the dwelling in which you live
  •  You cannot clear trees on slopes greater than 18 degrees without a geo-tech device
  •  You may clear all shrubs to a maximum of 50m from your home. Against, this clearing must be surrounding your habitable dwelling
  • You cannot burn cut vegetation
  • Any property listed with either heritage or cultural value is excluded from the 10/50 rule: if your land is heritage-listed or holds cultural value, you cannot clear trees or shrubs from the area surrounding the home
  • You must abide by the Code of Practice as outlined by the NSW Rural Fire Service, available here>http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/1050-vegetation-clearing
  • It is also highly recommended to use a reputable tree service contractor to assist in clearing and removing trees from the property

Everwilling Trees are specialists in tree removal and can help prepare the defendable area around your home by removing trees and shrubs as identified as hazards by the new 10/50 rule. Contact us today to arrange a quote for tree removal, and ensure your home is ready for this bushfire season.

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