An asset protection zone (APZ) is an area surrounding a habitable building that is managed to reduce the bushfire hazard to an acceptable level, and generally consist of managed vegetation, reticulated lawns and gardens and other non-flammable features.
Houses should have an APZ of 20m (or to the boundary of the property where a 20m distance cannot be achieved). It is important to note that the 20m clearing may not be enough to provide adequate protection in all cases.
Fire travels more quickly uphill, so if your house is situated on a hill with vegetation growing on the slope below it, the APZ distance should increase at least 1 metre for every degree in slope on the side of the building facing the slope.
For more information about APZs, visit the DFES Website.
The Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) has published a handy guide - Landscaping for Bushfire.
Fuel loads refers to the amount of flammable material available for a fire to burn and is measured by the amount of available fuel per meter. Reducing fuel around your property may help protect your home from bush fire.
The intensity (heat) and rate of spread of bushfire is influenced by the amount of fuel (vegetation) available to burn. If the amount of fuel around your property is reduced, a bushfire will burn more slowly and generate less intense heat. This will reduce the impact of the bushfire on life and property and assist fire managers in suppressing the bushfire.
Fuel loads should be maintained at or below 8 tonnes per hectare. This is equal to 8 handfuls of flammable material per square metre.
Low fuel loads can be achieved by the following measures;
Perimeter fire breaks are required on properties larger than 4,000m2.
For more information about constructing and maintaining your fire breaks download the DFES Guide to Constructing and Maintaining Fire Breaks.
During the bushfire season, Western Power may modify the network settings to make them more sensitive, reducing the likelihood of power lines starting a bushfire, but resulting in more frequent outages. Those outages may last longer if a total fire ban or vehicle movement ban is in place that will delay Western Power from carrying out work until it is deemed safe to do so.
Community members can take steps to prepare for a power outage including maintaining an emergency electricity and water supply, learning how to open automatic garage doors or gates without power and keeping a torch and spare batteries handy.
Outages and restoration times can be monitored by visiting westernpower.com.au . For information about outages, or to report a fault call Western Power on 13 13 51.