Lake Macquarie


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Preparing your home for bushfire season

As summer comes round again we’re all preparing for days at the beach, backyard barbies and dips in the pool. The increased heat does bring with it a few unpleasantries and the danger of bushfires is the most serious.

Are you at risk?

While properties that back onto the bush are most at risk, any house within two streets of the bush can be in danger. Other factors to consider are if your area has a history of bushfires or if you need to travel through bush area regularly.

While we often think of bush as a wooded area, but places with scrub, crops, grass or farmland are also included.

Minimising the risk

As set out by the Rural Fire Service, creating a Bushfire Survival Plan and making sure your whole family knows about it is essential. One of the most important factors to this plan is reducing how much bushfire fuel is around your home:

  • Starting at your home, cut back any overhanging trees as, once alight, these could easily fall on your home and cause damage
  • Clean all leaves, twigs and other build-up from your gutters
  • While wooden fences are likely to go up in flames, non-combustible fences are much better at dealing with the intense heat of a bushfire
  • When planting trees, go for ones with low oil content as these are less likely to go up in flames (oaks, willows and fruit trees are among the best, while eucalyptus and cypress pines are some of the worst)
  • If you have wood piles make sure you keep these well away from your house

The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme

To help reduce the risk of bushfires the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme has been brought in to help homeowners protect their property.

For people living in at-risk areas – which you can check using this online tool – trees within 10 metres of a home and shrubs and other underlying vegetation with 50 metres of a home can be removed (but not burnt) from your property without seeking approval.

Full details of the 10/50 legislation can be found on the NSW Rural Fire Service website.

Properties with large trees or a lot of work that needs to be done may require professional assistance. To get a quote for your work – which includes trimming trees and taking away all branches and logs – call Able Tree Services on 0403 221 044.

Image: “bushfire” by bertknot is licensed under CC BY 2.0