How the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) identifies bushfire-prone areas

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) prepares a map of bushfire-prone areas in Western Australia. The map identifies land which is subject to, or likely to be subject to, bushfire attack. This risk is based on the presence and proximity to bushfire-prone vegetation for the purposes of the Bushfire Mapping Standards. Developments in bushfire-prone areas then need to meet additional planning and building requirements.

WA BAL Report conducts bushfire attack level assessments and bushfire attack level reports to determine your site’s BAL rating and identify the additional requirements that need to be met. WA BAL Report today provides information concerning the process of identifying bushfire-prone areas.

The DFES first determines the vegetation considered bushfire-prone, from data sourced from the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, the Forest Products Commission and PF Olsen. The DFES and Department of Parks and Wildlife undertook a review to determine which types of vegetation contained in the data are prone to bushfire. The bushfire-prone vegetation then has to meet certain size and proximity requirements. Vegetation is classified at the point in time the assessment is undertaken. The future state of the site in question is not considered.

The DFES also utilizes a precautionary principle, meaning where it is uncertain whether an area of vegetation meets the criteria to be bushfire prone, local government should adopt a precautionary approach and identify the vegetation as bushfire-prone. Once the bushfire-prone vegetation has been identified, a 100 metre buffer is applied to the periphery of the bushfire-prone vegetation to create the bushfire-prone area. There may be buffering of the bushfire-prone vegetation to create overlapping bushfire-prone areas. Where two or more buffers overlap, they are merged to form a single bushfire-prone area.

The bushfire-prone map is available here:

For more information

WA BAL Report are experts at conducting Bushfire Attack Level Assessments, Bushfire Attack Level Reports and bushfire prevention strategies in general in Perth and Western Australia. For more information, contact our friendly staff on 08 6114 9356 or at

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