Building or developing in bushfire prone areas

South Australia has been mapped for three categories of bushfire protection areas depending on the level of risk from bushfires:

  • general
  • medium
  • high.

For a full listing of bushfire protection areas see About bushfire protection areas.

The map based online bushfire risk assessment tool will also help you find out if you are in a bushfire protection area.

How bushfire protection areas affect building and development

Bushfire protection areas are subject to bushfire-related planning and building requirements. Applicants wanting to develop in bushfire protection areas and professionals who assess their development applications need to comply with specific planning and building construction requirements.

The level of bushfire risk determined for the site affects the number of requirements that may apply.

Planning requirements

The planning requirements in bushfire protection areas include:

  • whether the application needs to be referred to the Fire Service
  • having dedicated water supplies for fire fighting
  • buffer zones between homes and flammable or combustible vegetation
  • appropriate access roads.

Some areas in bushfire protection zones are excluded from planning requirements if enhanced protection measures are not required because there are adequate water supply and fire-fighting services. However they may not be excluded from building requirements.

Complying with the bushfire code

The bushfire code - 298.6 KB sets out the planning requirements related to development in bushfire protection areas and includes a checklist of information required when lodging a development application for:

  • land division
  • new dwellings
  • tourist accommodation or other habitable buildings, including additions or alterations to any of these buildings.

In addition to the information provided in the code, several bushfire protection measures must be assessed as part of a development application, including:

  • public road design in respect to a land division proposal
  • the location and design of private roads and driveways
  • access to dedicated water supplies
  • the location of buildings away from existing and proposed trees and vegetation.

NOTE: The bushfire code references a superseded website link in which to purchase a topographic map. To purchase a map, please visit the Adelaide Natural Resource Centre.

Building and construction requirements

The construction requirements for building in bushfire protection areas are detailed in the Building Code of Australia and Minister's Specification SA 78 Additional requirements in designated bushfire prone areas - 26.2 KB.

For alternative versions (including historical) of any of these documents, contact Assessment of development proposals environmental impact assessments and major developments.

Related information

On this site

Council monitoring of fire safety for buildings
Requirements for bushfire risk areas
Polycarbonate sheeting in bushfire protection areas

Other websites

Standards Australia
Australian Building Codes Board
Country Fire Service


Ways to make your home more resistant to bushfires - 670.9 KB
Rebuilding after a bushfire - 685.1 KB


Development Act 1993


Planning contacts - Assessment of development proposals

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Page last updated: 5 August 2016