Consider the appropriateness of the proposed project in relation to the site location and wildfire hazard.
Limit the types and location of vegetation in your proposed project site. Consider the potential risk from vegetation beyond the project site boundary and the prospect of this vegetation growing and providing great risk in the future. Fuel reduction (by slashing, removal, or regular burning) is a key strategy for managing the wildfire hazard.
Consider having access to a water supply that can continue to provide water in the event of a power failure or wildfire impacts on the water supply infrastructure itself. A continuous water supply can be used to extinguish small fires on the project resulting from a wildfire, in addition to any role in the continued operation of the project. Consider the implications of wildfires impacting your power supply networks and backup generation systems.
Consider the choice of building material used for the framing and façade of the buildings and aiming for non-combustible material for both. Conventional construction techniques using either or a combination of steel and concrete are proven to be reliable in wildfire provided these structures are well sealed to prevent firebrand entry (construction gaps should be less than 2mm). Look for local examples of construction techniques that not only meet local building requirements but have been proven to resist wildfire attack.
The following resources provide Wildfire risk mitigation strategies are described in greater detail at:
Consider the location and extent of any proposed buildings or infrastructure in relation to the fuel sources (e.g. unmanaged vegetation). In the first instance, vegetation on or located near the project should be actively managed to prevent the build-up of fuel sources. Your regional fire agency will be able to provide you with guidance and advice on any fuel management requirements on your project site as well as on areas adjoining your project site. Strategies, protocols, and procedures may need to be developed for ongoing maintenance of critical building design features and management of fuels. Local building and planning codes are an appropriate reference for what these critical building design features are. Where there is recognized wildfire risk and an absence of local regulation further advice should be sourced from adjacent regions or countries that have more developed regulation.
Project planning, design, and construction practices should account for the potential for combined actions from strong wind and additional wind effects caused by wildfire where the wind is sufficient to damage a building prior to or during a wildfire event. Often local building regulations are designed to manage the risk of structural failure due to wind actions. However, these regulations do not tend to mitigate against superficial damage from wind actions. When superficial damage occurs prior to or during a wildfire event it can allow the wildfire actions (e.g. firebrands) to readily breach the building envelope and cause an internal fire.
Allow for appropriate access and egress arrangements.
o Access may need to consider road surface load rating, gradients, clearance and turning circles, to enable access for fire fighting vehicles in the event of a wildfire.
o Access should be considered around the perimeter of the site. These can act as access for fire suppression as well as creating fire breaks.
o Egress should be considered both within the site and from the site to a location distant from the hazard. Where possible a location on site that is both sheltered from wildfire exposure and any consequential building fires is useful as a local evacuation point.
Incorporate procedures and protocols for building and site maintenance and preparedness checks prior to and during each wildfire season.
Incorporate wildfire emergency response planning into your emergency management plan ( EMP). Other EMP’s for comparable project types are a good point of reference. To check their adequacy consider the following points:
o Wildfire event planning and evacuation drills should become an integral aspect of an emergency response planning, acknowledging that typical response plans for building fire safety are generally not appropriate in a wildfire event.
o Consider the possibility of wildfire and structural fires occurring simultaneously.
o Consider the possibility of wildfire smoke triggering the internal building fire alarm system.
Useful resources for developing emergency management plans can be found at: