Fire Rescue Victoria

Fire Danger Period

The Fire Danger Period is when fire and rescue authorities restrict the use of fire in the community. This is to help prevent fires from starting.

Authorities declare The Fire Danger Period at different times for each municipality. It may be as early as October in some municipalities, and usually remains in place until the fire danger lessens, which could be as late as May.

Once the Fire Danger Period has been declared, fire restrictions come into force. More information on Fire Danger Periods can be found via the CFA website

In State forests, National, State and Regional Parks and on protected public land, fire restrictions are in force all year round. For advice on fire restrictions for these areas, contact the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP)and Parks Victoria.

Total Fire Bans 

CFA declares Total Fire Bans by district on days when fires are likely to spread rapidly and could be difficult to control.

There are large penalties for lighting fires illegally during the Fire Danger Period and on Total Fire Ban Days. This includes possible imprisonment.

To find out what you can and can’t do during declared Fire Danger Periods and on days of Total Fire Ban visit CFA's Can I or Can’t I?

Fire Danger Ratings

  • A Fire Danger Rating predicts how a fire would behave if one started, and how difficult it would be to put out. The higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions.

    The rating is your trigger to act. To stay safe you need to know the Fire Danger Rating in the district where you live or travel.

    Fire Danger Ratings are forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology during the fire season. They are forecast up to four days in advance. Ratings are based on weather and other environmental conditions.

    During the fire season, the Fire Danger Rating will feature in weather forecasts and be broadcast on radio and TV and appear in some newspapers.

  • What does it mean?

    • These are the worst conditions for a bush or grass fire.
    • Homes are not designed or constructed to withstand fires in these conditions.
    • The safest place to be is away from high risk bushfire areas.       

    What should I do?

    Leaving high risk bushfire areas the night before or early in the day is your safest option – do not wait and see. Avoid forested areas, thick bush or long, dry grass

    Know your trigger – make a decision about:

    • when you will leave
    • where you will go
    • how you will get there
    • when you will return
    • what will you do if you cannot leave.
  • What does it mean?

    Expect extremely hot, dry and windy conditions.

    • If a fire starts and takes hold, it will be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving. Spot fires will start, move quickly and come from many directions.
    • Homes located, constructed or modified to withstand a bushfire that are well prepared and actively defended, may provide safety.
    • You must be physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions.    

    What should I do?

    Leaving early is your safest option.

    Only consider staying with your property if you are prepared to the highest level. This means:

    • your home needs to be located, and constructed or modified to withstand a bushfire
    • you are well prepared, and
    • you can actively defend your home if a fire starts.

    If you are not prepared to the highest level, leaving high risk bushfire areas early in the incident is your safest option.

    Be aware of local conditions. Listen to your emergency broadcasters, go to Vic Emergencyor call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

  • What does it mean?

    • Expect hot, dry and possibly windy conditions.
    • If a fire starts and takes hold, it may be uncontrollable.
    • Well prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety.
    • You must be physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions.    

    What should I do?

    • Check your bushfire survival plan.
    • If you are not prepared, leaving bushfire prone areas early in the day is your safest option.
    • Be aware of local conditions and seek information by listening to your emergency broadcasters, go to Vic Emergency or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226
  • What does it mean?

    • If a fire starts, it can most likely be controlled in these conditions and homes may provide safety.
    • Be aware of how fires can start and minimise the risk.
    • Controlled burning off may occur in these conditions if it is safe – check to see if permits apply. 

    What should I do?

    • Check your bushfire survival plan.
    • Monitor conditions.
    • Action may be needed.
    • Leave if necessary
    • If a fire starts, it can most likely be controlled in these conditions and homes may provide safety.
    • Be aware of how fires can start and minimise the risk.
    • Controlled burning off may occur in these conditions if it is safe – check to see if permits apply. 

Map of the Fire Districts

A breakdown of the fire districts can be found on the CFA website.

VicEmergency App for mobile phones

The VicEmergency app includes warning and incident notifications for fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, weather warnings, beach closures, shark sightings and more. 

It brings together emergency information and warnings from agencies including:

  • Fire Rescue Victoria
  • Country Fire Authority 
  • Victoria State Emergency Service
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Forrest Fire Management Victoria)
  • Emergency Management Victoria
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Life Saving Victoria

The app is managed by Emergency Management Victoria and supported by the Department of Justice and Community Safety. 

You can download it from the iTunes Store for iPhones or Google Play for Android devices

Reviewed 26 June 2020

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