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Fire danger ratings

The fire danger rating shows the risk of bushfires in your area. 

The rating is shown by a coloured signboard which is often on the side of major roads. 

The signboard shows the ratings, from low to catastrophic, with the arrow pointing to the present level of risk. 

Read below for an explanation of each rating.

Signboard fire danger rating 

Catastrophic

Fires will threaten without warning. It will be difficult to see, hear and breathe.

Fires may be uncontrollable and fast moving. A significant amount of burning embers will be blown around and spot fires will start, often many kilometres ahead of the main fire. 

Even well-prepared homes in the path of the fire are likely to be destroyed. Expect wide scale power, telephone and water supply failures. 

Do not expect a fire truck to come to your home. 

What you should do 

It will not be safe to stay and defend your home. 

Implement your bushfire survival plan and leave your home early in the day. Survival is now your first priority. 

Listen to a battery-powered radio tuned to ABC local radio to keep updated with the situation throughout the day. 

Extreme

Fire will threaten suddenly. It will be hot, windy and difficult to see, hear and breathe. 

Fires will be difficult to control and fast moving. Burning embers will be blown around and start spot fires. 

Well-prepared homes will offer some safety. Expect power, telephone and water supply failures. 

Do not expect a fire truck to come to your home. 

What you should do 

Implement your bushfire survival plan. Survival is now your first priority. 

Leave your home early in the day. This is the best option for survival. 

If you decide to stay and defend your home, make sure it has been constructed to withstand bushfires. 

Be prepared to the highest level. You must also be physically able to fight a fire. 

Listen to a battery-powered radio tuned to ABC local radio to keep updated with the situation throughout the day. 

Severe

Fires can be difficult to control and will burn unpredictably. Embers will be blown around and it will be uncomfortable and dangerous to be out in the open. 

Homes in the path of the fire, or impacted by ember attack, may be destroyed. Only well-prepared homes and substantial, solid buildings will offer some safety. 

Expect localised power, telephone and water supply failures. 

Do not expect a fire truck to attend. 

What you should do 

Implement your bushfire survival plan. 

Leaving your home early in the day is the best option for survival. 

If you decide to stay and defend your home, make sure it has been constructed to withstand bushfires. 

Be prepared to the highest level. You must also be physically able to fight a fire. 

Listen to a battery-powered radio tuned to ABC local radio to keep updated with the situation throughout the day. 

Very high

Fires can be difficult to control. Embers may be blown around. 

Loss of property and injury is less likely, but significant damage could occur. 

Well prepared homes and substantial buildings can offer safe shelter. 

Some local infrastructure may be temporarily unavailable. 

What you should do 

Implement your bushfire survival plan. Leaving your home early in the day is the best option. 

If you decide to stay and defend your home, make sure it has been constructed to withstand bushfires. 

Be prepared to the highest level. You must also be physically able to fight a fire. 

Listen to a battery-powered radio tuned to ABC local radio to keep updated with the situation throughout the day. 

High

Fires can be controlled. The loss of property is unlikely but damage may occur. 

Well prepared homes and substantial buildings can offer safe shelter. 

What you should do 

Listen to a battery-powered radio tuned to ABC local radio to keep updated with the situation throughout the day. 

Low to moderate

Fire can be easily controlled. There is little risk to life and property. 

What you should do 

Listen to a battery-powered radio tuned to ABC local radio to keep updated with the situation throughout the day.