Council has a statutory obligations under the Rural Fires Act 1997 (the Act)to manage land under its control in a manner that reduces the risk of fire escaping its boundaries.
Council also has a responsibility to inform landholders of their land management responsibilities under the Act and this is undertaken in cooperation with local NSW RFS officers.
Other bushfire risk management undertaken by Council includes:
Management of Asset Protection Zones
A network of Asset Protection Zones (APZs) is maintained by Council to provide a reduced fuel zone adjacent to assets (people, property and the environment) to reduce the potential impact of bushfire and provide a defendable space for fire-fighters and their vehicles.
The majority of APZs are situated on the Tweed Coast often between residential housing estates and areas of Council managed bushland. APZs are inspected annually prior to commencement of the Bushfire Danger Period, on 1 September and runs to 31 March each year, to ensure their ongoing compliance
Council also has an obligation to report its hazard reduction works in the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Bushfire Risk Information Management System database.
Bush Fire Risk Management
A new Bush Fire Risk Management Plan (BFRMP) has been prepared for Tweed Shire which also includes Byron and Ballina Shires and replaces the existing Plan.
Under the Rural Fires Act 1997 the Bush Fire Coordinating Committee (BFCC) must constitute a Bush Fire Management Committee (BFMC) for each area in the State, which is subject to the risk of bush fire. Each BFMC is required to prepare and submit to the BFCC a BFRMP every five years.
A BFRMP is a strategic document that identifies community assets at risk and sets out a five-year program of coordinated multi-agency treatments to reduce the risk of bush fire to the assets. Treatments may include such things as hazard reduction burning, grazing, community education, fire trail maintenance and establishing community fireguard groups.
Implementation of the new BFRMP, prepared by the Far North Coast BFMC, is the responsibility of the owners or occupiers (land managers) of the land on which the bush fire risk is situated. The Rural Fires Act 1997 imposes this responsibility on both public and private land managers.
Far North Coast Bush Fire Risk Management Plan (140kB PDF)
Appendix 2 Asset Register and Appendix 3 Treatment Register (170kB PDF)
Appendix 4 Map 1 - North East Tweed (3.38mB PDF)
Appendix 4 Map 2 - Central Tweed Coast (3.79mB PDF)
Appendix 4 Map 3 - Central Tweed Shire (4.31mB PDF)
Appendix 4 Map 4 - Western Tweed (3.47mB PDF)
Appendix 4 Map 5 - North Byron Shire and South East Tweed (3.9mB PDF)
Appendix 4 Map 6 - Central Byron Shire (3.92mB PDF)
Appendix 4 Map 7 - Byron Bay and Hinterland (3.79mB PDF)
Appendix 4 Map 8 - Ballina Coast and Hinterland (3.62mB PDF)
For more information please contact Council's Bushland Officer on 02 6670 2400, or JTurnbull@tweed.nsw.gov.au
Planned Hazard Reduction Burns
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will be undertaking hazard reduction burns at Mooball, Bogangar and Hastings Point during the month of August 2015, subject to favourable weather conditions. The burns will reduce the risk of bushfire affecting nearby residences, infrastructure and koala habitat. The main burn will occur between Round Mountain Road and Grass Tree Circuit at Bogangar and will extend from Tweed Coast Road in the east through to 'Murnane's Trail'. Another burn is proposed for a small area north of the North Star Holiday Park at Hastings Point.
Both hazard reduction burns have been planned by NSW NPWS, in consultation with Council and will be carried out by NPWS and the NSW Rural Fire Service. Specific measures to avoid impact to koalas and koala habitat including pre-burn inspection, raking around habitat trees and involvement of Council Natural Resource Management officers trained and accredited in bushfire fighting are included to the operational plan for the burns. For further information, contact NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Murwillumbah office on 02 6670 8600.
From 1 September 2016, we are within the bushfire danger period and all fires lit in rural areas of NSW require a permit issued by the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS).
If you need to burn within the bushfire danger period you must:
- Obtain a permit
- Give RFS and neighbours at least 24 hours notice
- Check weather conditions and Total Fire Bans
- Delay the burn if windy conditions are forecast
- Create proper fire breaks before lighting a fire
- Have adequate water resources on hand to control the fire
- Supervise the fire at all times
- Call triple zero (000) immediately if the fire escapes
Permits are free and are issued by an RFS Permit Issuing Officer.
Ph: 02 6671 5500 - RFS Tweed Fire Control Centre (Wardrop Valley Road)
Ph: 02 6671 5500 - RFS Byron/Ballina Fire Control Centre (Byron Shire offices, Mullumbimby)
For further information:
An officer will visit the proposed burn site and discuss with the applicant the best way to conduct the burn. The Officer may add any conditions deemed necessary, but all permits have standard conditions that are listed on the permit, including:
- the permit is to be carried by the permit holder, or another person at all times at the site of the fire;
- the fire must be supervised at all times;
- notification is required to the RFS, and adjoining neighbours at least 24 hours prior to the fire being lit; and
- the permit (current for 21 days) may be varied, cancelled or suspended, depending on weather conditions.
Notification to the RFS ensures that local brigades are aware of the location of any permitted fires, leaving them free to attend wildfires and emergencies. This information is vital for a voluntary organisation.
NOTE: Fires within urban or semi-urban areas require approval from Council regardless of whether the area falls under RFS or NSW Fire Brigade jurisdiction. Council has a policy not to approve fires in these situations, in part to ensure compliance with the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulations 2002 and partially to avoid any potential smoke impacts that may compromise air quality or human health or amenity. Vegetative waste in these areas should be mulched or transported to the nearest Waste Depot or residents may choose to take advantage of Council's Green Waste collection service. For further infoprmation please contact Council Environment and Health Officers.