Fuel, Landscape and Community Management
Fuel management can provide useful protection to settlements and assets exposed to bushfires. Effective management of bushfire fuel can assist individuals and communities in the reduction of the likelihood of ignition from source. Reducing fuel loads can also reduce the intensity of fire, impact of flame and ember loads and the intensity of fires around key community assets.
Managing landscapes around the household areas exposed to bushfires can be a good start for reducing the risks of bushfires. This can be achieved by ensuring fuel loading is reduced regularly (i.e. pruning verges and nature strips along landscapes) as well as removing accumulated litter and debris at regular intervals. Keeping areas beneath trees and shrubs around the household/property cleared. This will involve regularly mowing or slashing grass to less than 10cm in height. In addition, ensuring availability of reliable and sufficient water including the installation of sprinkler systems across landscapes is another strategic approach to coping with bushfires.
This involves making use of natural or synthetic materials around high-risk areas to limit the spread of fires. This includes use of fences and retaining walls that are non-combustible. This may include stone/concrete walls or metal-based materials. Positioning non-combustible water tanks to act as heat barriers. Selection of low-flammability trees and shrubs (for example rain forest species). Positioning barrier vegetation where they are most likely to be located at a suitable distance from buildings.
© CIFAL Newcastle, University of Newcastle, Australia