I can still remember the horrible view of the bushfire from our house at the top of a hill in Roleystone.
It was the bushfire burning at the valley below us and the houses there were at the mercy of the wind direction. It was certainly a terrifying moment as we raced with time to pack our essential items and not to forget our cats to get away from the area.
We were one of the lucky ones that night the bushfire did not reach our house and we are able to get back to our house the day after. But a lot of others were not so lucky. According to a publication from Armadale council, the bushfire caused damages:
Roleystone is a beautiful hilly area but it is also full of woods and bushes. A few minor bushfires happened each year but never as intense and horrifying as the February 2011. Mostly properties are located on lands the size of a 1000 square meter.
It is very important to create a fire emergency plan and to know the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating of your property if you live or planning to live in these areas.
Any land with that size will need to have a backdoor for Fire Fighters to get in and out from the property as a legislation. Getting a BAL assessment is a good idea too.
A BAL Assessment is used for planning and building purposes to determine whether a building or development requires additional bushfire risk management measures to address the threat of bushfire to the development.
There are six Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) categories, as set out in Australian Standard 3959: Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas (AS 3959).
If you are proposing to build or develop in a bushfire prone area as designated on the Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas that you can find on DFES website, then you may be required to undertake a BAL assessment before you can commence development.
A BAL assessment is generally carried out by an accredited Level 1 BAL Assessor or Bushfire Planning Practitioner. You can find a list of accredited Level 1 BAL Assessors at the Fire Protection Association (FPA) Australia Website.