Victoria is one of the most bush fire-prone areas in the world.
All Victorians should make themselves aware of any bush or grass fire risk in their local area, especially during the warmer months.
By understanding and obeying restrictions on the use of fire in your municipality and Fire District you will help prevent bush and grass fires from starting.
By accessing information and being informed before and during a fire emergency you can act quickly and safely to save your life and the lives of your family and others.
Victoria is divided into nine Fire Districts based on council boundaries.
It is important you know which Fire District you live in. When you are travelling or on vacation during the warmer months be aware of the Fire District you are in.
The Fire Danger Period is when the Country Fire Authority restricts the use of fire in the community. This is to help prevent fires from starting.
CFA declares the Fire Danger Period annually for each municipality in Victoria in the lead up to the summer fire season. The timing is dependent on the amount of rain, grassland curing rate and other local conditions. The start date 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.
Each municipality may also have their own laws about lighting fires.
Once the Fire Danger Period has been declared, fire restrictions come into force. This means you cannot light a fire in the open air unless you have a permit or comply with certain requirements. If you don't obtain a permit, you could be breaking the law and may be prosecuted.
Download the Can I or Can’t I brochure:
The Fire Danger Ratings have changed; effective 1 September 2022.
A new Fire Danger Rating System will be used across Australia.
It has four levels – MODERATE, HIGH, EXTREME and CATASTROPHIC.
When there is minimal risk, Fire Danger Rating signs will be set to ‘NO RATING’. This is the white wedge sitting under MODERATE.
Fire Danger Ratings are forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology during the Fire Danger Period up to four days in advance. Ratings are based on weather and other environmental conditions.
A Fire Danger Rating predicts how a bush or grass fire would behave if one started, and how difficult it would be to put out. The higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions.
To stay safe on hot days you need to know the Fire Danger Rating in the district where you live or travel. Go to: During the fire season Fire Danger Ratings will feature in weather forecasts, be broadcast on radio and TV and appear in some newspapers.
The Fire Danger Rating is your trigger to act. There are actions for each of the four levels, so you know what to do to protect your life, family and property.
Bush and grass fires can start quickly and threaten homes and lives within minutes. You should never wait to receive an official warning before you leave.
Plan and prepare
- Stay up to date and be ready to act if there is a fire.
Be ready to act
- There is a heightened risk. Be alert for fires in your area.
- Decide what you will do if a fire starts.
- If a fire starts, your life and property may be at risk. The safest option is to avoid bush fire risk areas.
Take action now to protect your life and property
- These are dangerous fire conditions.
- Check your bush fire plan and ensure that your property is fire ready.
- If a fire starts, take immediate action. If you and your property are not prepared to the highest level, go to a safer location well before the fire impacts.
- Avoid travel through bush fire risk areas.
For your survival leave bush fire risk areas
- These are the most dangerous conditions for a fire.
- Your life may depend on the decisions you make, even before there is a fire.
- Stay safe by going to a safer location early in the morning or the night before.
- Homes cannot withstand fires in these conditions.
- You may not be able to leave once a fire starts and help may not be available.
Total Fire Bans are different to the Fire Danger Period.
A Total Fire Ban Day can be declared at any time throughout the year on days of heightened fire danger.
Warnings are issued when a bush or grass fire has started and you need to take action.
Don’t wait to receive an official warning before you leave. Fires can start quickly and threaten homes and lives within minutes.
Make sure you understand the three levels of warnings and what they mean. The three levels of warnings are:
- An incident is occurring or has occurred in the area
- Access information and monitor conditions.
WATCH AND ACT
- An emergency is developing nearby.
- You need to take action now to protect yourself and others.
- You are in imminent danger and need to take action now.
- You will be impacted.
Don't expect warnings to be issued in any particular order. The first warning you receive could be an Emergency Warning.
VicEmergency is a centralised source for Victorians to find current information and warnings for fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, weather warnings, beach closures, shark sightings and more.
- Download the VicEmergency App from the or onto your device, set up a user profile and watch zones for areas that interest you
- Go to the
- Call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226
- Follow VicEmergency on and
- Follow FRV, CFA and SES social media accounts
- Radio & TV - ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated community radio stations and Sky News TV
Remember: You might be aware of a fire before the emergency services do - if you see flames or a column of smoke call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
Reviewed 26 September 2022