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Topics > Native vegetation > Clearing

Fire hazard reduction: large trees, fuel reduction and fire access tracks

What native vegetation can I clear to reduce fire hazards?

With approval from the Country Fire Service (CFS) and notification to the Native Vegetation Council (NVC), clearance can include:

  • Large trees that have a trunk circumference of 2 m or more (measured at a point 1 m above the base of the tree) growing or situated within 20 m of a dwelling for fire prevention and control.

  • Vegetation to reduce the risk of combustible material on land as reasonably required for fire prevention and control.

  • Vegetation for fuel breaks on rural council land used for primary production where rural council has the same meaning as in the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005. You can clear a fuel break less than 20 m wide. Exception: if there is land already sufficiently clear of vegetation to provide comparable protection within 200 m (other than one that runs at a right angle). Clearance for fence line fuel breaks may also apply.

  • Vegetation to establish or maintain a fire access track less than 15 m wide for use by vehicles undertaking fire fighting activities.

Does this include land under Heritage or Management Agreement?

Yes you can clear for fuel breaks on rural council land, for fuel reduction or to establish fire tracks on Heritage Agreement or Management Agreement land.

However you cannot clear large trees on Heritage Agreement or Management Agreement land.

What do I have to do?

  • Make sure that your clearing is within the parameters of this activity.

  • Consider if there are other practical alternatives to clearing, including options that involve no clearing, or clearing vegetation that is less significant or more degraded.

  • Obtain the written permission of the landowner if you are acting on behalf of the landowner.

  • Submit an application to the CFS - refer to the CFS website for application forms.

  • Receive written approval from the Chief Officer of the CFS before clearing.

  • Forward the CFS approval to the NVC by email to nvc@sa.gov.au before clearing.

What are my obligations if I am granted approval?

What if I want to clear in the River Murray Floodplain Area?

The following regulations may also apply if you live in the River Murray Floodplain Area:

  • Clearing vegetation within 10 metres of an existing building; there are restrictions to clearance of limbs in the River Murray Floodplain Area – refer to information about clearing vegetation around an existing building or dwelling.

  • Clearing large trees within 20 metres of a dwelling; there are no restrictions in the River Murray Floodplain Area but CFS approval is required – refer to information about fire hazard reduction.

  • Clearing for the safety of people and property; there are no restrictions in the River Murray Floodplain Area but you must have an arborist report approved by the NVC – refer to information about clearing for the safety of persons and property.

What if my activity doesn't fit this description?

If your proposed clearance does not meet the requirements of this regulation, or another regulation, you can submit a clearance application under Section 28 of the Native Vegetation Act 1991.

Contact

CFS Headquarters: (08) 8463 4200.

Click here to view form.