Bushfire Readiness Forum

Preparation for the inevitable

Bushfire Readiness Forum

Preparation for the inevitable

Community Participation

The issue

The Yass Landcare group held their first Bushfire Readiness Forum on World Environment Day in 2022.  At this forum speakers included Eric Gruber from Manton Rural Fire Brigade, Jeff Dau EMBER Bushfire Consulting, Wally Bell from the Buru Ngunawal Aborignal Corporation and Alison Elvin President of Yass Landcare spoke.  Each guest speaker had several key messages to share.

The solution

The Manton Rural Fire Brigade leader stated that when fighting a running fire, it is vital to access property quicky thus having gates and gaps in tree lane plantings, which would allow fire trucks to move through, are vital.  

Bushfire practitioner Jeff Dau spoke about the need to address a number of items which preparing for the bushfire season.  Such items include the asset protection zone immediately around the house and surrounding landscape, utilities that need to operate when the power fails and your emergency management exit plan.

Wally Bell spoke about the attributes of cool burns conducted under the direction of aboriginal fire management experts.  Preparation before the burn is most important, the fire must be cool to regenerate dormant grasses and to activiate dormant seed in the ground.  Alison Elvin set up several tables of plant samples with different flammability values.  Information and resources on how to Reduce Bushfire threat with sensible Garden design were also provided.  

The impact

The Yass Landcare group runs a Landcare Community nursery grows regional climate ready plants from the Box Gum Grassy Woodland plant community, this plant list will progressively increase to include plants with low flammability values.   

Through facebook posts and YAN Newsletters local landholders will be reminded of good garden practices when preparing for bush fire season, which includes regular garden maintenance to remove dead and dry plant matter, ensure garden plants are well-spaced and surrounded by non-flammable materials, use driveways and paths as firebreaks, install sprinklers, add extra tanks designated for fire protection and to keep plants hydrated during summer.



Gates in fence lines and gaps in tree lanes should be seriously considered in Landholder plantings.  Alison Elvin also suggested that an alterntive to 20-30m wide tree lanes is to have small clusters of Eucalyptus with understory plantings and possibly plant the corners of a paddock as an alternative to tree lane.

A cool burn must be well planned, be able to be managed by one person, and burnt in mosaic patterns.  The NSW RFS document Planning for Bushfire Protection is a key resource and the YAN web site has a Resource section on Bushfire and Drought planning

Key facts

  • You can prepare during the cooler months for the bushfire season by installing a water tank and undertaking a detailed garden review
  • All plants even fire retardant species will burn if conditions are right
  • Breaking up the continuity of vegetation can limit the spread of fire within the garden