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A person wearing protective gear using a brush cutter in bush

Overview

Creating a firebreak is an essential part of any bushfire prevention strategy. We’ll show you how to clear areas around your property and a few different ways to create and maintain firebreaks.

Steps

1Check council requirements

It's your responsibility to look after firebreaks on your land. Check with your local council to see what your specific responsibilities are and what might be shared. Also check with the local fire authority to see when you can burn off and how big that fire can be.  It's important to note that there can be fines if you don't maintain your property.
Bushland with thick undergrowth

2Cut back scrub at fence lines

Using a whipper snipper, cut back long grass along fence lines. It's a good idea to do this in winter or spring before the grass gets too long.

A person wearing protective gear using a brush cutter in bush

3Poison hard to reach areas

Poison around stumps and posts to keep grass away from their base. When spraying, refer to the instructions on the bottle to work out how often you need to spray.
A person spraying weed killer beside a fence post

4Churn dirt to create a firebreak

Churning up dirt ensures that fire can't creep across the grass. Simply attach the tiller attachment to your whipper snipper and chew along the grass. Your council will tell you how wide your firebreak needs to be. Ideally it is big enough to protect your property and provide access for a vehicle.

A person turning over soil using a tiller attachment on a brush cutter

5Check gates and access road

Make sure gates work properly and can open and close. You will need access from different parts of your property in case a fallen tree blocks one track. Then you still have a way to get out. Natural firebreaks on your property, like creek beds or natural gullies, are also beneficial. But remember to maintain them, particularly in gated areas.
A person opening a gate on a bush property

6Burn off green waste

Get rid of leaves and sticks raked up during the year. Check when it's okay to do small controlled burns. Rake green waste into small piles and burn it off when needed.
A small fire burning in dry leaves and twigs in bushland

7Use vegie patches and garden beds

Firebreaks don't always have to look barren. Use a vegie patch or garden beds to create nice looking breaks. You will have tilled the earth so it's not going to burn.

A person turning over soil in a vegetable garden using a hoe

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.