Victoria has one of the highest levels of bushfire risk in the world, so land owners must understand their risks.
Our staff have a great deal of experience from across Victoria in a range vegetation types undertaking assessments to inform Bushfire Management Statements.
Those areas of the state covered under a Bushfire Management Overlay are considered to have the highest fire risk and as such likely to be exposed to the impact of bushfire at some time. For this reason, these areas require a Bushfire Management Statement (BMS) to assess and report on the suitability of proposed works before they proceed. A BMS is required to inform an application to construct a dwelling, a range of other construction types and land use changes. The BMS is referred by council to the CFA for assessment.
The specific planning requirements are detailed in Clause 44.06 – Bushfire Management Overlay of the Victorian Planning Scheme which can be viewed at: planningschemes.dpcd.vic.gov.au/aavpp/44_06.pdf
The assessment process involves a site investigation to assess wildfire threats, vegetation types in the area, slope, fuel loads, surrounding land use and management responsibilities. This information is used in the preparation of the a BMS and in particular for calculating a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) in accordance with Victorian Building Regulations Act 2006 and other relevant information as required by the CFA standard reporting template.
In preparation for a formal application to Council we will provide you with a Bushfire Management Statement sufficient to address the requirements of the Bushfire Management Overlay including vegetation risk category, management requirements, defendable space zones, BAL construction standards, water supply and emergency access.
We will describe the aspect and condition of the site, the surrounding vegetation in the wider landscape and present our findings as to what is required to meet CFA standards. The Statement will address the current fire management practices of the surrounding area and define management actions that will enhance bushfire protection across land tenures including legally binding actions required by yourself and other adjoining or adjacent land owners.
As required in the template, we produce several maps that illustrate the location and extent of works, defendable space requirements, site slope and vegetation risk categories. Maps are generated using ArcGIS and reproduced in high resolution PDF. If available, we import CAD drawings into our GIS system to ensure accuracy and to make use of features and levels captured by a surveyor.