Crime Stoppers

Fire Break Inspections - Darwin Emergency Response Area

Monday 15-Apr-2019 11:02

With the Dry Season fast approaching, the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service (NTFRS) will be inspecting acreage properties in Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield municipalities to ensure fire breaks are in place.

Hazard Abatement and Bush Fire Mitigation Officer Paul Rubie said NTFRS members will be inspecting properties and any residents not complying with their legal responsibilities may be fined on the spot.

“It is the owner/occupier’s responsibility not to allow combustible material to accumulate on a property in any way that constitutes or poses a risk to life or property by fire,” Station Officer Rubie said.

“Legislation allows us to take action against those who are careless when it comes to bushfire mitigation.”

Owners and occupiers of acreage properties in Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield should be aware of their responsibility in relation to bushfire mitigation.

“It is the owner/occupier’s responsibility to maintain and install fire breaks around your property and it is an offence not to comply with a hazard reduction notice to eliminate or reduce a hazard,” Station Officer Rubie said.

Under the Fire and Emergency Act 2016, infringements start from $660.00 (four penalty units). A person can also be charged and incur up to a maximum of 100 penalty units. Under the legislation:

  • The occupier or, if there is no occupier, the owner of land in an emergency response area must ensure a firebreak that complies with this regulation is created and maintained along the entire boundary of the land.
  • The firebreak must:
    • be at least 4 m wide; and
    • consist of one or more of the following:

(i)     bare earth;

(ii)    grass not exceeding 50 mm high;

(iii)    lawn or cultivated garden.

However, the firebreak may contain trees if they do not:

  • restrict fire-fighting vehicles being driven along the firebreak; or
  • otherwise pose a direct or indirect danger by fire or other emergency to life or property.

 Any further information is available from your local fire station, by visiting www.fire.nt.gov.au or calling Hazard Abatement on 8946 4167 or 8946 4191.