Natural Area News

Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas

The Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) has recently accredited ten Level 2 and 3 Bushfire Planning Practitioners. This announcement is a further step in achieving the State Government’s commitment to develop a professional bushfire consultant industry to inform land-use planning approvals and building permit processes.

Natural Area’s Senior Environmental Consultant – Sue Brand is now accredited as a Level 2 Bushfire Planning practitioner. Some of the services a Level 2 Bushfire Planning Practitioner is able to provide include:

  • The development of Bushfire Hazard Level assessments
  • The development of BAL Contour Maps
  • Apply the bushfire protection criteria to develop acceptable solutions for planning designs according to the Guidelines.

FPAA administers the Bushfire Planning and Design (BPAD) Accreditation Scheme. The Scheme was first developed and implemented in 2006 in response to demands from the community, government and industry to establish a recognition program for bushfire planning and design accredited practitioners to assist the community undertaking development on land subject to bushfire impact.
The Scheme was designed for practitioners delivering bushfire assessment, planning, design and advice services. It accredits practitioners who meet criteria based on specific accreditation and competency requirements, including a detailed knowledge of and ability to practically apply the relevant planning, development and building legislation and policies, the Building Code of

Australia and Australian Standard AS3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas.
The Scheme provides an enhanced level of confidence for government and the community that practitioners providing bushfire planning and design services are accredited by a suitably robust scheme that complies with the State Government’s accreditation framework. BPAD Accredited Practitioners are recognised by industry, regulators, fire agencies, end-users and the community as providers of professional bushfire assessment, planning, design and advice services.

Bushfire Planning Capabilities

Natural Area provides a range of services relating to fire planning and management including bushfire hazard assessments, bushfire attack level (BAL) assessments and preparation of bushfire management plans for proposed subdivisions.
The preparation of a BAL assessment report includes:

  • Site assessments to determine the vegetation type present and classification, topography, distance and slope of the land between vegetated areas and proposed buildings.
  • Determining the BAL according to vegetation type, slope and distance from proposed buildings.
  • Indicating appropriate construction requirements according to assigned BAL’s as provided in AS 3959 – 2009.
  • Preparing a BAL-Assessment report, and in some cases, a BAL-assessment certificate.
  • The preparation of a bushfire management plan involves assessing the fire risk posed by vegetation in proximity to proposed or current developments and assigning appropriate BAL that influence building construction standards that will assist with reducing the risk to an acceptable level.

For more information click here or email Natural Area’s Level 2 accredited BPAD practitioner direct or download the Natural Area Bushfire Management capability statement

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