Dudley McArdle with Glenn Webster

We encourage everyone to have an emergency plan so they know what they will do well in advance before a bushfire occurs.  Leaving early is the safest option.

There is a lot of information on how to be prepared for a bushfire.  Visit these websites for details at https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/before-and-during-a-fire and www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/Emergencies

Neighbourhood Safer Places, also referred to as Bushfire Places of Last Resort (NSP-BPLR, are intended to be used by people whose primary bushfire plans have failed.  These locations may provide some protection from direct flame and heat of a fire, but they do not guarantee safety. A  NSP-BPLR is a place of last resort when all other bushfire plans have failed.

What are NSP-BPLRs?

  • NSP-BPLRs are locations that may provide some protection from direct flame and heat from a fire, but they do not guarantee safety.
  • NSP-BPLRs are not an alternative to planning to leave early or to stay and defend your property. They are a place of last resort if all other fire plans have failed.
  • NSP-BPLRs are existing locations and not a purpose-built, fire-proof structure. It is important to know that many NSP-BPLRs are simply a clearing that provides separation distance from the bushfire hazard (e.g. forest).
  • NSP-BPLRs are not to be confused with Community Fire Refuges, Relief Centres, Recovery Centres or Assembly Areas, each of which have a different and specific purpose.
  • NSP-BPLRs are not an appropriate destination when leaving the area early.
  • NSP-BPLRs are not a place of shelter from other types of emergencies (e.g. to escape rising floodwaters or severe weather events).

An NSP-BPLR may be an open space at a local sports field, foreshore or park, or they may be located within a community building such as a hall or sports pavilion.

You can recognise an NSP-BPLR by a green and white sign which includes the words “Bushfire Neighbourhood Safer Place – A Place of Last Resort” or “Bushfire Place of Last Resort – Neighbourhood Safer Place”.


NSP-BPLRs are established by local government. Not all townships have a designated NSP-BPLR in the local area.

Where are the local NSP-BPLRs?

Daylesford:  Central Business District Pavement Areas bounded by Bridport, Albert & Camp Streets & Central Springs Road, Daylesford 3460  Get directions

Hepburn:  Hepburn Recreation Reserve (Laurie Sullivan Reserve) Netball Pavilion – Corner Hepburn-Newstead Road (Main Road) and Twentieth Street, Hepburn 3461.  Entry from Twentieth Street Get directions

Glenlyon:  Eldon Street (between Molesworth Street and house number 19), Glenlyon 3461  Get directions

Or you can search for your local NSP-BPLR at https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/your-local-area-info-and-advice/neighbourhood-safer-places

After the Fire Has Passed

Bradley Thomas, Chief Executive Officer Hepburn Shire Council, advises that Council has a number of sites throughout the Shire that are suitable as emergency relief and recovery centres.  In any emergency, Council works with the lead agency (VICPOL, CFA, etc.) to select the best location for these centres.  The decision would be based on how they can keep people safe and provide relief during an emergency event.

The location of an emergency relief or recovery centre will be announced via the VicEmergency App https://support.emergency.vic.gov.au/hc/en-gb/categories/203637608-VicEmergency-app , the VicEmergency website https://www.emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/ and on local ABC radio.


Related Stories:

Go the Extra Step in Preparing for a Bushfire

What Will You Do with Your Pets on Fire Risk Days?


Dudley McArdle is a Daylesford resident and a former Emergency Services Management consultant. Glen Webster is the Daylesford CFA Captain.