WHAT DO BUSHFIRE CONSULTANTS LEVELS MEAN?
Updated: May 6
We are lucky enough to live in Western Australia, but some areas are among the most fire prone in the world, and the threat of uncontrolled bushfires is increasing. As bushfire consultants it is our aim to reduce the risk of bushfires, and to improve the safety and resilience of communities in bushfire events.
To become a bushfire consultant, we must meet criteria based on specific accreditation and competency requirements, including detailed knowledge of and ability to practically apply the relevant planning, development and building legislation and policies, the Building Code of Australia, and Australian Standard AS3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas. There are three levels of bushfire consultants under the Bushfire Planning and Design (BPAD) Accreditation Scheme.
Level 1 BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) Assessor
Being a Level 1 BAL Assessor means that you are able to determine the appropriate BAL using Method 1 (Simplified Method) and provide general advice on the design and construction requirements of AS 3959.
Level 2 Bushfire Planning Practitioner – Prescriptive
As a Level 2 Bushfire Planning Practitioner, Kelly Paterson, can assist you with Bushfire Hazard Level Assessments and the development of BAL Contour Maps where the lot layout is known for strategic planning proposals and subdivision applications. She can also provide advice for planning proposals, and development applications, apply the bushfire protection criteria to develop acceptable solutions for planning designs, develop Bushfire Management Plans*, and carry out the tasks of a Level 1 practitioner.
* excluding those for vulnerable and high-risk land use, unavoidable developments, and minor developments where BAL-40 or BAL-FZ apply
Level 3 Bushfire Planning Practitioner – Performance
Our Founder and Principal Consultant, Gary McMahon is one of only 6 Level 3 Bushfire Planning Practitioners in WA. Along with carrying out the tasks of a Level 1 & Level 2 Practitioner, Gary is also able to assist our clients by providing BAL Reports using Method 2 (detailed method) and applying the bushfire protection criteria to develop designs that are outside of those specified in the acceptable solutions within the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone areas. He can also develop Bushfire Management Plans for proposals and developments that involve vulnerable and high-risk land use, unavoidable developments and minor developments in areas where BAL-40 and BAL-FZ apply and provide advice for Bushfire Risk Management Plans.