Rural fire

Although there are many benefits to living in the country, rural property owners face a higher risk of fire than city dwellers. If a fire starts it may not be detected as quickly and emergency services take longer to respond because of greater travel distances.

Protecting your property from Rural Fire

  • To protect your property from rural fire we recommend:
  • installing smoke alarms and testing them regularly. For more information about smoke alarms visit
  • designing an escape plan and practicing it. For more information visit
  • keeping the grass green and mown or grazed around your home
  • creating a safety zone around your home of at least 10m by clearing any dead or dry material and replacing flammable plants and trees with low flammable species (for more information visit
  • making sure your property is clearly signposted with your RAPID rural property identification number
  • installing multipurpose dry powder extinguishers in your house and out buildings
  • keeping a garden hose connected and make sure it is long enough to reach around the house
  • ensuring your driveway has a minimum clearance of 4m wide, 4m high and adequate turning space for large vehicles
  • easy access to water supplies and making sure they are signposted
  • storing firewood and other flammable material away from your house
  • safe handling and storage of gas or liquid fuels
  • maintaining machinery and equipment in working order
  • disposing of ash safely in a metal container and using approved incinerators


Defensible space

  • Priority zone 1
    Create a defensible area or safety zone. Convert to lawn and less fire-prone species. Remove flammable materials, waste and combustible debris.
  • Priority zone 2
    Remove trees and scrub to allow the trees that remain to be evenly spaced so they’re not touching.
  • Priority zone 3
    Prune all large trees and remove all branches at least 2 metres from the ground. Thin subcanopy trees, cut down dead or dying trees and remove overhanging branches that are close to powerlines.

During a fire or if fire is imminent

  • If you are in a building, get down, get low and get out. If
  • dial 111 and ask for Fire.
  • stay well clear of the fire. Do not go back into the building under any circumstances
  • do not try and extinguish the fire
  • send someone to the roadside to meet the emergency services.

After a fire

  • It may not be safe to return home even when the fire is extinguished. Continue to listen to the advice of emergency services.
  • Look for and report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.
  • Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.
  • Ring your insurer as soon as possible. Take notes and photographs for insurance purposes.
  • If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible.
  • If farming, check that livestock are secure and not injured. Their behaviour may be unpredictable so take care when approaching.