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Bushfires - Prepare Act Survive

Parks and open spaces are among the great natural attractions of our City. However, living near bushland comes with a risk.

Whilst fire and emergency service agencies will do everything in their capacity to manage a bushfire, you also have an active part to play in preparing and protecting your home.

Know your Risk

You don't have to live right near the bush to be at risk. Embers can travel many kilometres ahead of a fire, starting spot fires around property well away from bushland and the direct threat of bushfire.

Make a Plan

The time to make a Bushfire Survival Plan is now, not when a fire starts.

Will you stay and defend your home? If you plan to leave, when and where will you go? Do you have a backup plan if your escape route is blocked? Does your family know what to do if a bushfire threatens the area?

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has resources to help you make important decisions well before you are threatened by a bushfire.

Prepare your Home

A well prepared home is more likely to survive a bush fire or ember attack, will be easier for you or firefighters to defend, and is less likely to put your neighbours' homes at risk.

  • Clean your gutters of leaves and twigs and install metal gutter guards
  • Repair damaged or missing tiles on the roof
  • Fit seals to eliminate gaps around windows and doors and install fine metal mesh screens
  • Enclose the areas under the house and repair or cover gaps in external walls
  • Keep lawns short and gardens well maintained and cut back trees and shrubs overhanging buildings. You may need approval from Council before pruning or removing your tree. Penalties apply for unauthorised tree work. To check if you need approval, please view information about Trees
  • Clean up fallen leaves, twigs and debris around the property and move flammable items like gas cylinders away from the house
  • Have hoses long enough to reach around your house
  • If you have a pool, tank or dam, put up a Static Water Supply (SWS) sign to alert firefighters
  • Check your home and contents insurance - make sure it is adequate and up to date

Know your Neighbourhood Safer Places

Neighbourhood Safer Places are a place of last resort during a bush fire emergency.

You should know where your local Neighbourhood Safer Places are and how to get there, as well as alternate routes in case the road is blocked or becomes too dangerous. The City of Ryde has two Neighbourhood Safer Places:

  • Macquarie Shopping Centre car park, Talavera Rd, Macquarie Park (see map
  • Monash Park, Corner Ryde Rd and Monash Rd, Gladesville (see map)

Find out more about Neighbourhood Safer Places.

Fire Danger Ratings and Alert Levels

The Fire Danger Rating is an early indicator of the potential danger should a bush fire start. Ratings range from Low Moderate to Catastrophic. Alert Levels indicate the level of threat from a bushfire that has already started from Advice to Emergency Warning.

When Fire Danger Ratings or Alert Levels are advised, you must take them seriously. Make sure you understand what they mean, and what you need to do. Failure to act can result in death or injury to you or your family. Find out more about Fire Danger Ratings and Bushfire Alert Levels.

Total Fire Bans and Fire Permits

During a Total Fire Ban you cannot light, maintain or use a fire in the open, or carry out any activity in the open that causes, or is likely to cause, a fire.

You can use gas and electric barbeques under certain conditions and exemptions may apply for other activities including fireworks. Find out more about Total Fire Ban rules and penalties.

During the Bush Fire Danger Period, permits are required for any type of burning activities. Fire permits are automatically suspended during Total Fire Bans, Extreme fire danger ratings and No Burn Days declared by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). Find out more about Fire Permits.

Report a Bushfire Hazard

If you think your neighbour or a reserve is a bushfire hazard you should report it to the Rural Fire Service on 1800 679 737.

Before lodging a complaint to the RFS, make sure the suspected hazard is not included in the list below – these areas are not usually considered a bushfire hazard:

  • Nature strips
  • Open parks that are regularly maintained
  • Smaller parks and reserves that do not connect to large bushland reserves
  • Creek lines

What does Council do to Protect the Community?

City of Ryde has an extensive network of Asset Protection Zones and Fire Trails which are maintained regularly. Asset Protection Zones ensure there is adequate setback between vegetation and dwellings. Asset Protection Zones are not guaranteed to protect your property from fire. You must ensure that you have adequately prepared your property.

Additional hazard reduction activities are undertaken within Council reserves that have been identified by the Rural Fire Service.

Council also participates in community education programs and is a member of the Lane Cove, Ryde, Willoughby, Hunter's Hill Bushfire Management Committee which is responsible for coordinating bushfire planning in the local area.

Our Environment and Planning Group are responsible for ensuring that adequate fire protection measures are in place during the planning stages of new development.

Last updated on 19 October 2018