Bushfire Services

Milestone Bushfire Protection

Milestone offers professional consultancy services for planning and building in Bushfire Prone Areas. Milestone can provide you with comprehensive advice regarding the potential bushfire risk to your property, the required building standards that will apply and the approval processes that will be necessary prior to building. Click here to contact Milestone to discuss your specific requirements.

Is your Property in a Bushfire Prone Area?

Extensive bushfire prone areas have now been designated across Western Australia. To check if you are affected you can view the DFES Map of Bushfire Prone Areas and locate your property. If any part of your property is shaded pink on the map then it has been designated as bushfire prone.

Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Assessment

If your property is within a designated bushfire prone area, you may require a BAL assessment prior to building or developing the property. A BAL will determine the potential bushfire exposure of your site and will also establish the construction requirements you can use to improve the protection of your building from bushfire attack. Click here to contact a Milestone BAL Assessor for a professional appraisal and written BAL Assessment report.

What does a BAL Rating Mean?

Your BAL rating is a measure of the potential heat exposure to your building if a bushfire occurs in the surrounding area. The various construction measures that are required for each BAL rating are determined by Australian Standard AS3959-2009 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire-Prone Areas. Each successive rating applies higher standards with potentially higher building costs. 

BAL Rating

DESCRIPTION (Source: AS 3959-2009, Appendix G)

BAL–LOW

  • The risk is considered to be VERY LOW.
  • There is insufficient risk to warrant any specific construction requirements.

BAL–12.5

  • The risk is considered to be LOW. There is a risk of ember attack from a fire.
  • The construction elements are expected to be exposed to a heat flux not greater than 12.5kW/m2.

BAL–19

  • The risk is considered to be MODERATE. There is a risk of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind-borne embers and a likelihood of exposure to radiant heat.
  • The construction elements are expected to be exposed to a heat flux not greater than 19kW/m2.

BAL–29

  • The risk is considered to be HIGH. There is an increased risk of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind-borne embers and a likelihood of exposure to an increased level of radiant heat.
  • The construction elements are expected to be exposed to a heat flux not greater than 29kW/m2.

BAL–40

  • The risk is considered to be VERY HIGH. There is a much increased risk of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind-borne embers, a likelihood of exposure to a high level of radiant heat and some likelihood of direct exposure to flames from the fire front.
  • The construction elements are expected to be exposed to a heat flux not greater than 40kW/m2.

BAL– FZ

(Flame Zone)

  • The risk is considered to be EXTREME. There is an extremely high risk of ember attack and burning debris ignited by wind-borne embers, and a likelihood of exposure to an extreme level of radiant heat and direct exposure to flames from the fire front.
  • The construction elements are expected to be exposed to a heat flux greater than 40kW/m2.

BAL Rating Illustration

Source: WAPC Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas

Building in Bushfire Prone Areas

Prior to issuing a building permit for construction of a dwelling in a Bushfire Prone Area your local authority will require a BAL assessment to be lodged with your application. Your building design must meet the bushfire design requirements in addition to the other provisions of the Building Code. After conducting your BAL Assessment Milestone can guide you through the Building Permit process.

Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas

Planning approval may also be required to build in a Bushfire Prone Area. For example, a house and associated development (i.e. Class 1 and Class 10a) on a lot size of 1,100m2 or greater requires planning approval if a rating of BAL-40 or BAL-FZ applies. Other classes of development in Bushfire Prone Areas also require planning approval with the aim of achieving a rating of no higher than BAL-29. Milestone can guide you through the Planning processes that apply to your property and development proposal.

Bushfire

 

Fire fighters fighting a bushfire