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Fire Danger Rating

National Bushfire Warning System

The Queensland State Government is implementing a new fire danger rating and national bushfire warning system as of 1 October 2009.

As a result of the interim findings of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, and in consultation with the other states, the new system sees changes to the fire danger rating system, with two new categories, Severe and Catastrophic, being added.   

The new fire danger rating will also be used as a trigger for the level of advice and messaging to the community when a fire starts.  There will be three types of alert messages:  Advice, Watch and Act and Emergency Warnings.

Advice messages will keep people informed and up to date with developments on a fire.

Watch and act messages will advise people to take action to prepare and protect themselves.

Emergency Warnings, accompanied by the siren sound (State Emergency Warning Signal), will be activated to advise that you must take action immediately, you will be impacted by the fire.

As of 1 October the Fire danger will now be rated as

Bureau of Meteorology fire weather forecast records indicate no cases of catastrophic rating in Queensland.

What do the new ratings mean?

 

A fire with a rating of “catastrophic” may be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving.  The flames will be higher than roof tops. Many people will be injured and thousands of homes and businesses will be destroyed.

During a “catastrophic” fire, well prepared, constructed and defended homes may not be safe.  Leaving is the safest option for your survival.

A fire with an “extreme” rating may be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving.  The flames will be higher than roof tops.  During an “extreme” fire, people will be injured and hundreds of homes and businesses will be destroyed.

During a fire with an “extreme” rating, only well prepared, well constructed and actively defended houses are likely to offer any safety during a fire.  Leaving is the safest option for your survival.

A fire with a “severe” rating may be uncontrollable and move quickly, with flames that may be higher than roof tops.  A severe fire may cause injuries and some homes or businesses will be destroyed.

During a fire with a “severe” rating, leaving is the safest option for your survival.  Only use your home as a place of safety if it is well prepared and you can actively defend it.

A fire with a “very high” danger rating is a fire that can be difficult to control with flames that may burn into the tree tops.  During a fire of this type some homes and businesses may be damaged or destroyed.

During a fire with a “very high” danger rating, you should only use your home as a place of safety if it is well prepared and you can actively defend it.

A fire with a “high” danger rating is a fire that can be controlled where loss of life is unlikely and damage to property will be limited. 

During a fire with a “high” danger rating, you should know where to get more information and monitor the situation for any changes.

 

A fire with a “low to moderate” rating can be easily controlled and post little or no risk to life or property.

During a fire with a “low to moderate” rating, you should know where to get more information and monitor the situation for any changes.

Like More Information?

Frequently Asked Questions
Minister for Emergency Service’s Media Release

What is Prepare, Act Survive?

The other initiative under the national framework is the new fire safety campaign “Prepare, Act, Survive”.  Under the Prepare, Act, Survive campaign, the emphasis is placed on people evacuating their properties when the fire danger is in the higher scales of extreme and catastrophic.

This message is consistent with Queensland’s “Prepare, Stay and Defend or Go Early” program, with Queensland Police or QFRS Incident Controllers being able to order evacuations if the risk is too high.

Unlike the other states Queensland is currently in bushfire season, and as such, will implement the Prepare, Act, Survive campaign for the 2010/2011 fire season.  The campaign will include television commercials, community presentations, brochures and awareness packages.