Fire danger ratings describe the potential level of danger should a bushfire start. They are important because they provide people with information so that they can take action to protect themselves and others from the potentially dangerous impacts of bushfires.
The Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) Program is redesigning the forecasting of fire danger in Australia. The AFDRS is a project of national significance being developed collaboratively by state, territory, and the Commonwealth government. It aims to improve public safety and reduce the impacts of bushfires by:
The new Australian Fire Danger Rating System will start on 1 September. It has four levels of fire danger – Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic. There are new action statements for each level, to give the community clearer information about what to do.
In the lead-up to the new system, roadside signs will be progressively replaced.
A community awareness campaign is also being developed to help educate the public about the changes.
The way that the Australian fire danger rating system will affect you to some extent depends on your role.
For the community it is important to be aware of the changes, where to access information such as state government emergency services websites, and what action to take in relation to each fire danger rating level.
For fire and land management agencies and fire management professionals, the new system offers improved tools to support operations and decision making. An important difference is that the Fire Behaviours Index will be used instead of fire danger ratings for most decision making purposes.