Firebreaks and Burning Permits

The City is committed to ensuring its community are safe and the threat of bushfires is reduced. Find out about firebreaks and burning off requirements here.

Firebreaks (vacant or developed over 2032m2)

A firebreak is an area where flammable material (such as wood, leaves and grass) has been cleared to minimise the spread of fire and also provides vehicle access.

Firebreak requirements

Properties over 2032m³ require a firebreak under the City’s Fire Control Order.

Firebreaks must be put in place by 1 November each year and maintained to 15 April. Extensions will not be granted.

Important note: If you receive a letter from the City outlining works you need to undertake to reduce fire risks, you must comply with the advice before the due date or a contractor will be appointed by the City.

Need help with your firebreak? Visit the Yellow Pages for firebreak contractors.  

Fire Control Order Variations

If you cannot comply with the above requirements you must submit a request for variation in writing to the City’s Fire & Emergency Management section, before 1 October.

Approved: You must comply with the conditions of the approved variation.
Not approved: You must comply with the requirements of the Fire Control Order.

Fire risk management (vacant or developed less than 2032m2)

All flammable materials such as long dry grass and weeds must be slashed, mown or trimmed down to a maximum height of 50mm across the entire property and all dead vegetation must be removed. This must be put in place by 1 November each year and maintained to 15 April.

Burning off

No fire may be lit on a day when the fire danger is declared as very high, severe, extreme or catastrophic. You cannot undertake any activities that have the potential to start a fire during a total fire ban. Heavy penalties may apply. To determine the current fire danger level, ring 1196.

Burning vegetation on land that is being cleared for development is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1986. No burning permit will be issued and the vegetation must be disposed of by other means.

You are not permitted to burn at any time in areas not zoned rural.

In areas zoned as rural, the restricted burning period is between 1 April - 31 May and 1 October - 30 November. During this time, you will need to obtain a Permit to Set Fire to the Bush from the City of Cockburn before starting any burning. The unrestricted burning period is between 1 June - 30 September and you do not need a burning permit. Between 1 December - 31 March no burning is permitted unless declared otherwise by the Minister of Fire and Emergency Services or the City’s Chief Bush Fire Control Officer.

Please note these periods can vary at Council’s discretion.

Rural burning of bush and scrub no larger than 1m³

You can burn off tree branches and leaves without a permit during the restricted burning period.

The below rules apply:

  • Light the fire between 6pm and 11pm and have it put out before midnight
  • Notify your neighbours
  • Have a clear area around the fire area of five metres
  • Have equipment on hand to control the fire (i.e. a garden hose)
  • One person remains onsite for the entire time the fire is lit
  • The area to be lit up is no larger than 1m³ and does not contain materials such as plastics or wet lawn clippings that may produce offensive smoke.

If you cannot meet these requirements, you will need to dispose of the materials by other means or obtain a valid Permit to Set Fire to the Bush from a City of Cockburn Fire Control Officer. 

Rural burning of bush or scrub larger than 1m³

You will need to obtain a Permit to Set Fire to the Bush.

Residents can obtain as many permits as required to conduct bushfire hazard reduction on their property. If you are unable to meet the requirements of the Permit to Set Fire to the Bush, you must discuss this with the fire control officer at the time of issue. You may receive a penalty if you fail to comply. If you are unable to meet the requirements of your fire permit, it is an offence to approach another fire control officer for a new permit.

Fire control order

The City’s Fire Control Order details fire mitigation works required during specific periods of the year. Property owners and occupiers must comply with the Fire Control Order as stated in the Bush Fire Act 1954. Property owners and occupiers may receive penalties or fines for not complying with the Fire Control Order.

More information and contact

Please contact the Emergency Management and Projects Coordinator for more information on firebreaks and burning permits on 08 9411 3444 or at customer@cockburn.wa.gov.au

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Contact

Address

9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

Po Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

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