Australia — Council has produced new online maps to show Shoalhaven residents how susceptible their homes are to the ravages of bushfires.
The maps have been produced through the use of aerial photography to identify heavily vegetated areas and will help residents determine whether their property falls in bushfire prone land.
By referring to the maps, and zooming into to their location, residents will be able to find out if they are considered to be at risk, and take the necessary precautions.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzgibbons certified a new Bush Fire Prone Land Map for Shoalhaven City in March.
To help local residents better utilise this information, council staff used aerial photography to more accurately map vegetated areas and ensure that previously cleared areas were not listed as bushfire prone areas.
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash encouraged local residents to use the maps on councils website to see if the status of a property had changed.
Residents residing in bushfire prone areas are encouraged to undertake a number of safety precautions to ensure their properties are resilient to the threat of fire.
Council staff has undertaken the painstaking process of mapping all vegetated areas within the city to ensure that minimum area as possible was identified as bushfire prone land, said Cr Gash.
New development on areas identified as bushfire prone areas are subject to development and planning controls and must be designed to improve the survivability of the development and occupants that are exposed to a bushfire hazard.
These maps provide the community with an extremely valuable resource, allowing the community to better prepare for fires in the local area.
Cr Gash said bushfire prone information will be noted on the S149 Certificates of affected properties.
The current maps will be reviewed and updated again in 2018.