2 Things to Remember Before You Build Fire Breaks on Your Land

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2 Things to Remember Before You Build Fire Breaks on Your Land

28 October 2021
, Blog

If you need to build fire breaks on your land, then you should make sure that the breaks can do their job as effectively as possible. The land you clear here can help prevent and manage the spread of bushfires, so it's important to get things right.

Before you plan your fire breaks, don't forget to factor in the following requirements.

1. Fire-Breaks Need to Be Suitable For Emergency Vehicles 

While removing bush and vegetation on a fire-break site can help slow down a bushfire, the break itself might not be enough to stop the fire in its tracks. These areas of cleared land are also used to give emergency vehicles, such as firefighting trucks, easy access to land around a fire.

So, you need to ensure that your fire breaks are all wide enough for emergency vehicles to drive along. You need to leave some clearance at the sides to give responders extra room. If you have obstacles on a break's path, such as large rocks or trees, then you should remove them.

Plus, each fire break should be accessible from an outside access road. No fire break should have a dead-end. You could put firefighters in a dangerous position if they do not have an easy escape route.

2. Fire-Breaks Need Vertical Clearance Too

While you might be told how wide your fire-breaks should be, you also need to think about vertical clearance around the cleared areas. If you have trees, or even large shrubs and bushes, at the sides of a fire break, then they can pose a problem.

For example, if a tree at the side of a fire break starts to burn, then it might send out sparks at a height. If the wind is right, these sparks can easily travel across the cleared land and hit the other side. They can then ignite vegetation there. They can bypass the firebreak completely. So, check out the sides of fire-break areas before you clear the land. If you have vertical clearance problems, then find a way to deal with them.

For example, you might want to take down large trees on either side of the land you'll clear. If you can't or don't want to take down a tree, you should prune it back to reduce its capacity to get sparks across the break. Bear in mind that you might need to do some ongoing maintenance work here during bushfire season to keep the tree trimmed back to safe levels.

For more advice on fire breaks, contact vegetation clearing contractors.