Preparing for bushfire season

Anyone living near a bushland area needs to understand the potential risk to their property from bushfire and how to reduce that risk. If you live in one of these areas, you need to be FireWise, and know how to protect your home and family.

Learn and plan

Take the time now to learn about the characteristics of bushfires and how they are controlled. To determine the level of bushfire risk to your property, use this Bushfire Household Assessment Tool.

You need to be aware of the NSW Rural Fire Service Neighbourhood Safer Places in your area and note them in your Bush Fire Survival Plan. You should also know how to get there, as well as alternate routes in case the road is blocked or too dangerous to drive on.

You could also get involved in your local Bushfire Management Committee which provide a forum for cooperative and coordinated bushfire management.

Make a plan

Download a copy of the Rural Fire Service Bushfire Survival Plan. Make some time to sit down with your family and develop your own plan. Complete it before the bushfire season. Don't risk the lives of your family - be prepared.

  • Every household needs to decide if they are going to leave early, or stay and defend their Well Prepared Property.
  • If you are going to leave - prepare for where you are going, how you are going to get there and what you are going to take
  • If you are going to stay, you must have a plan for how you are going to survive and where you will shelter, and
  • Have a contingency plan in case things don't go as you expect

Keep yourself informed

  • Know what the fire danger rating is for your area
  • Watch for signs of fire, especially smoke and flames
  • If you receive a Bushfire Alert, take it seriously and act promptly, and
  • Look and listen for information on TV, radio, the internet, mobile phones and from your neighbours

Vegetation burning

Large property landowners, within prescribed zones across the Central Coast are allowed to carry out open pile burning of dry and dead vegetation on their property subject to a number of conditions.

Landowners do not require a permit from local authorities to undertake pile burning, but they must provide 24 hours notice of their intention to undertake open pile burning to one of these organisations:

  • NSW Rural Fire Service Central Coast District Office on 1300 661 401
  • Fire and Rescue NSW Central Coast Office on 4353 2351
  • Your local fire station

Parcels of land must be: 

  • Greater than 4,000m2 in area; and
  • E2 Environmental Conservation, E3 Environmental Management, E4 Environmental Living, RE2 Private Recreation, R5 Large Lot Residential, RU1 Primary Production, RU2 Rural Landscape, RU5 Village or RU6 Transition under the Local Environment Plan. 
  • Zoned 7(a) Conservation or 7(c2) Scenic Protection under Gosford interim Development Order No. 122

You can identify the zoning of your property by checking our interactive mapping tools.

Vegetation burning must be undertaken in a safe manner and follow the conditions of consent set out in Central Coast Council’s Open Pile Burning Policy.

These conditions include the size of vegetation piles, safety precautions, minimising smoke hazard, notification to adjacent property occupiers and adherence to total fire ban periods.  Burning should only take place when weather conditions are suitable, noting that a Fire Permit must be obtained from the NSW Rural Fire Service for open pile burning during the bushfire danger period. For 2019, this is from 1 September (please consult the NSW Rural Fire Service for more information).

Landowners must seek approval for bushfire hazard reduction burns from NSW Rural Fire Service. The Open Pile Burning Policy does not provide approval to clear vegetation on your property.

As an alternative to burning, Councils green waste service may be available for the collection of vegetation waste from your property, or the material may be composted or chipped and reused on garden beds.

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Last updated : Thu 15 Aug 2019