What is a bushfire prone area?
Victoria’s bushfire prone areas are subject to or are likely to be subject to bushfires. They make up most of the State of Victoria.
Building construction and planning controls apply to developments in designated bushfire prone areas. They aim to improve bushfire protection for residential buildings and other sensitive land uses.
Note: When buying or selling property, section 32C of the Sale of Land Act 1962 requires a vendor statement to state if the land is in a designated Bushfire Prone Area. For more information, consult the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
Bushfire Prone Area map
Designated bushfire prone areas are shown on the Bushfire Prone Area Map. The BPA Map was introduced in response to the recommendations made by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. The Minister for Planning makes a formal determination to designate Bushfire Prone Areas under section 192A of the Building Act 1993. This determination is based on a detailed review process.
An area is designated as a bushfire prone area based on its Bushfire Hazard Level. This is an indicator of how extreme a bushfire can be, based on landscape conditions. Bushfire Hazard Levels can be different across areas.
More about the mapping process:
- Fact Sheet- Bushfire Mapping Methodology and Criteria (PDF, 332.5 KB) or (DOCX, 322.5 KB)
- Determination that Specified Areas are Designated Bushfire Prone Areas (DOCX, 31.1 KB) (Version incorporating amendments as at 18 March 2022).
- View the Bushfire Prone Area Mapping for a property or zoom to see how it affects larger areas of Victoria
Bushfire Prone Area map reviews
The department has committed to work with local councils, emergency services and other key stakeholders to ensure the map is accurate and as up to date as possible. The map is reviewed twice a year.
It was last reviewed and updated on 17 August 2022.
The 16 councils updated in the 17 August review were:
Ballarat, Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Benalla, Cardinia, Casey, Colac Otway, Greater Geelong, Hume, Latrobe, Macedon Ranges, Melton, Mitchell, Towong, Whittlesea and Wyndham.
- Historical listing of municipalities, gazette dates and current plan
numbers for bushfire prone areas
- Sites being assessed in the current review (BPA21) for possible changes to the BPA mapping.
24 August - 14 September 2022 (3 weeks)
Developers and councils identify areas for review of the BPA mapping. This should be where development is happening, and the bushfire hazard has been removed.
15 September - 28 September 2022 (2 weeks)
Collate, prepare for site visits.
29 September - 2 November 2022 (4 weeks)
Unless the bushfire hazard is removed before site visits, the BPA will not be removed by this review.
|Consultation to conclusion|
3 November 2022 - 8 February 2023 (13 weeks)
Prepare draft maps for consultation.
Note: Consultation with councils and fire authorities can vary from 4 - 8 weeks depending on availability for comment, for example, if it is the bushfire season.
Consider comment, consult further if required, prepare final maps and documentation, approval, gazettal, map updated online and in VicPlan.
Information for lot owners
Find answers to common questions by lot owners in the BPA. Includes an explanation of the BPA and BAL, how to find out the BAL, apply for a modification, find out if the BPA requirements apply to your build, tips on using VicPlan, BPA map reviews and more.
Information for developers
Find relevant information including timing and hazard removal.
- Further information about building in a Bushfire Prone Area can be found at the
Victorian Building Authority.
- The Bushfire Prone Area spatial data can be downloaded from the
Victorian Government Data Directory.
- Copies of the Building Act and Building Regulations are available from Victorian Legislation.
- You can purchase a copy of Australian Standard AS 3959-2009 from SAI Global.
Email enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Page last updated: 19/08/22