Fire trails?

I was after some thoughts on the correct way to represent a fire trail. By fire trail I mean some kind of formed road (generally unsealed) to provide access to an area of land in case of a bush fire. Although the exact nature of a fire trail may vary from location to location, common attributes include:

  • Often in national parks or some kind of nature reserve
  • Suitable for walking along
  • Suitable for vehicles (although often only 4WD) but generally only authorised vehicles (e.g. locked gate)
  • Possibly bicycles and/or motorbikes are allowed

I have seen highway=track and highway=service. These render quite differently. highway=track is probably correct. The wiki describes it as “unpaved/unsealed roads for agricultural use; gravel roads in the forest etc.”

I have been using motorcar=private foot=yes, but maybe just access=private foot=yes would be better.

From the Australian Tagging Guidelines in the wiki:

I just use highway=track for fire trails and highway=footway for anything in the bush too thin to get a 4WD down. You can also specify a track grade with tracktype=grade1/2/3/4/5, see map features in the wiki for a guideline on what’s what. I’ve seen ref=4WD only used for rougher trails, although I don’t think this is an official use of ref, but it shows up on Garmin devices so it’s used.

For locked gates you can specify highway=gate on a node. (Example: )