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.

Drawing showing a house with driveway and shed in a rural setting with some trees and hills behind

More information about building construction controls in the building system

More about planning controls in the planning scheme

Difference between the BMO and the BPA

Find out if a property is in a designated bushfire prone area

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:

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 20 April 2023.

The 18 councils updated in the 20 April review were:

Ballarat, Baw Baw, Cardinia, Casey, Greater Geelong, Hume, Latrobe, Macedon Ranges, Melton, Mitchell, Moira, Moorabool, Strathbogie, Surf Coast, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Whittlesea and Wyndham.

More about recent and future updates:

TEST Historical listing of municipalities, gazette dates and current plan (XLS) (Excel, 12.3 KB)

TEST Historical listing of municipalities, gazette dates and current plan (PDF) (PDF, 3.7 MB)

Review stages and approximate timing
Open review

28 April - 19 May 2023 (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.

22 May - 5 June 2023 (2 weeks)

Collate, prepare for site visits.

Site visits

6 June - 4 July 2023 (4 weeks)

Unless the bushfire hazard is removed before site visits, the BPA will not be removed by this review.

Consultation to conclusion

5 July - 11 October 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 lot owners building in a bushfire prone area (BPA)

Information for developers

Find relevant information including timing and hazard removal.

More information

  • You can purchase a copy of Australian Standard AS 3959-2009 from SAI Global.

Contact us

Email enquiries to: bpa@delwp.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 29/05/23