Fire Danger Ratings

In September 2009, new Fire Danger Ratings were announced and new bush fire alert levels were introduced. These nationally-agreed changes were introduced on 1 October 2009 following extensive consultation between the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) and other NSW and interstate fire agencies.

NSW supports the new national system, which is designed to provide people with more consistent and accurate information during times of an emergency.

The new nationally agreed system includes the Fire Danger Ratings of: Low-Moderate; High; Very High; Severe: Extreme: and Catastrophic.

'Catastrophic' is a strong word, and it has been introduced in recognition that conditions, like those seen in the Victorian bush fires, present the gravest level of danger to our community.

Based on these Fire Danger Ratings, new national bush fire alert messages have and will continue to be issued during fires this bush fire season.  The three alert levels – Advice, Watch and Act, and Emergency Warning – reflect an escalating scale related to the threat of bush fire. It is important to ensure that your mobile phone service provider has your current residential address to ensure that you receive relevant  emergency messages.

To educate the community about the recent bush fire safety changes, the NSW RFS has initiated the Prepare. Act. Survive. public awareness campaign, including the provision of a Bush Fire Survival Plan, which can be completed by residents in bush fire prone areas.  The NSW RFS has also upgraded its public website and significantly enhanced the capacity of the NSW 1800 bush fire information line (1800 679 737) to ensure that bush fire warnings and information are as widely available as possible.

Further information can been obtained by contacting your local Rural Fire Service Office, or via the RFS website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

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