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08-06-2020 | Issue 5/2020

Fire Technology 5/2020

Regulatory Controls for Buildings in Wildfire-Prone Areas of Australia

Journal:
Fire Technology > Issue 5/2020
Authors:
G. Baker, A. Webb, P. Whiting
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Abstract

Australia has the most significant wildfire problem in Oceania, with in excess of 50,000 wildfires per annum on average, and an average of 500,000 km2 of land burnt by wildfires annually across the nation. Each year a number of these wildfires also affect the built environment at the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Each year in Australia, 84 dwellings are destroyed by wildfires on average, albeit historically, only a small number of extreme wildfire events have accounted for the vast majority of the destruction. In response to this WUI fire problem, Australia has developed standards that are cited in the National Construction Code (or NCC), which control construction at the WUI. These standards are constantly under review and evolving as new research is conducted. This paper is a review paper which provides a summary of the building regulatory controls that are in place in Australia to minimise the impact of WUI fires on the built environment. As such, the paper attempts to clarify for a broader international audience how the WUI fire problem is dealt with in one developed country where a significant WUI fire problem exists.

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