Standards. The Development of a Robust Model to Achieve this for Different Vegetation Types , A report for the NSW Rural Fire Service, Client Report 901, CSIRO, p4. 72 Bush Fire Info.com (undated) ‘Bushfire Basics: How do homes burn down?’, %20homes%20burn%20down , accessed 4 November 2008 73 Ellis, P. (2000) Review of Current Methodology of Assessment of Bushfire Hazard and the Proscription of Appropriate Separation Distances and Building Standards. The Development of a Robust Model to Achieve this for Different Vegetation Types , A report for the NSW Rural Fire Service, Client Report 901, CSIRO, pp17,19. Prepared by The Natural Edge Project 2009 Page 15 of 29 Water Transformed: Sustainable Water Solutions
required to reduce ember attack to a statistically acceptable level. Between 30m and 100m is enough to reduce the effects of direct flame contact and radiant heat. 74 This is the current established consensus based on a significant body of research before the 2009 Victorian bushfires. Given the unknown behaviours (both physical and social) that led to the unprecedented loss of life in the recent 2009 Victorian bushfires, the recommended distance between vegetation/forests and the built environment may change. Findings from these recent Victorian fires will be used to further inform the recommendations for setback and fuel reduced zones. - Reduce the potential for embers to ignite buildings or material close to buildings. This is achieved by managing the vegetation, forests and grasslands near developments, including periodically reducing the ground fuel. Reducing the fuel load helps to reduce the potential for embers catching fire in residential areas as fuel load, landscape and features of surrounding buildings influence the magnitude of a building’s exposure to flame contact and radiant heat. 75 Once bushfires enter residential areas, a range of measures to reduce the risk of buildings being damaged or destroyed exists. Reducing Bushfire Risks to, and Vulnerabilities of, Individual Properties The risks to, and vulnerabilities of, individual properties and houses can be reduced by first understanding the characteristics of the surroundings and the ways in which fire can reach the house, and then applying the appropriate preventative building strategies. Builders and housing developers are required to follow this process in accordance with Australian Standard AS 3959- 1999. - Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas (the Standard), 76 and its amendments Amdt 1- 2000 77 , Amdt 2-2001. 78 This standard applies to the construction of new buildings and certain renovations and extensions. In the standard, the bushfire risk category is determined by assessing the class and proximity of vegetation, and the slope of the land in the surroundings (see Table 1.3.3).
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