TFS Online Fuel Break Width Calculator Version 1.3

Fuel Breaks

Life and property protection in the urban-rural interface is best achieved through a combination of risk management strategies, including:

  • Strategic land use planning;
  • Building and development control;
  • Household planning and preparedness;
  • Emergency response planning and preparedness; and
  • Property, community and landscape level bushfire fuel management.

A fuel break is a natural or man-made change in fuel characteristics which affects fire behaviour so that fires burning into them can be more readily controlled.

The construction of fuel breaks in the urban-rural interface is a common risk management strategy. And, when appropriately designed, fuel breaks can provide an effective means to access the bushfire hazard for response and preparedness activities, as well as providing a level of protection to life and property.

In the urban-rural interface, a fuel break is an area or strip of land where bushfire fuel continuity has been substantially altered through the strategic removal or modification of vegetation.

The Fuel Break Guidelines seek to introduce a consistent and science-based approach to the design, construction and maintenance of fuel breaks in the urban-rural interface zone, where there is a life and property protection imperative.


These guidelines are designed to be used in conjunction with the Tasmania Fire Service Fuel Break Width Calculator.

Fuel Break Width Calculator

Fuel Break Class  Management (Class 1)      Protective (Class 2)
Predominant Vegetation Type 
Vegetation Community 
Type of Effective Slope  Downslope      Level      Upslope
Value of Effective Slope  degrees (between 0-30)
Maximum Fire Run Distance 

Disclaimer: While the State Fire Commission has made every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in this tool, the State Fire Commission does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the reader’s purpose, of the information contained in this tool and those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify its accuracy and to obtain appropriate professional advice.

The State Fire Commission, its officers, employees and agents do not accept any liability, however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss or damage resulting from the use of, or reliance upon, the information contained in this tool.

© Tasmania Fire Service 2016