Bushfire Advice and Warnings to the Community :: CFS

Bushfire Advice and Warnings to the Community

The provision of timely and accurate advice and warning is an important strategy in meeting the goals of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005.

Bushfire Advice Message 

Bushfire Advice Messages will be issued for bushfires that may pose a threat to property or public safety or events that may generate interest or involve a specific risk and meet the following criteria:

  • A bushfire has been reported and the SACFS is attending however no further information is available (Incident notification); or
  • A bushfire is producing an undesirable effect (smoke) in an area that may cause concern to the public; or
  • The SACFS Regional Coordinator or State Coordinator wishes to advise the public of a specific event.

Bushfire Watch & ActMessage

Bushfire Watch & Act Messages will be issued on a regular basis for bushfires that pose a localised threat to property or public safety and meet the following criteria:

  • A bushfire is threatening or has the potential to pose a threat to public safety in the immediate area of the fire; or
  • A bushfire is producing an undesirable effect (smoke) in an area that may cause concern to the public on a day of elevated fire danger; or
  • The SACFS Regional Coordinator or State Coordinator wishes to advise the public of a specific event.

Bushfire Emergency Warning Message

Bushfire Emergency Warning Messages are the highest level of warning to South Australians regarding a bushfire, and will generally be issued for wide area community impact. A Bushfire Emergency Warning Message will be issued when:

A)        Both of the following are met:

  • An uncontrolled bushfire is burning under Severe to Catastrophic Fire Weather conditions; and
  • The risk of loss of life or threat to properties is almost certain or has occurred;

OR

B)        Where special circumstances exist and specifically approved by the State Coordinator. (i.e.: a life or house has been lost)

Advice - Reduced Threat

A Reduced Threat Message is issued when the threat to the community has reduced. These messages will be issued when previously disseminated messages are no longer relevant and a cancellation of the message is required. All bushfire incidents that have had an Advice, Watch and Act or Emergency Warning Message issued will be finalised with an Advice – Reduced Threat message.

"Revoke" Messages

CFS will issue a "revoke" message when a current active message is edited and re-issued cancelled internally.  A "Message Revoke" email will be sent, advising the Message ID number that has been revoked, and the ID of the replacement message if one applies (see examples below)

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Multiple Messages for Bushfires

Multiple messages will be considered where a fire is impacting communities necessitating different calls to action.

Reasons for consideration of multiple messages might include:

  • Topography changes;
  • complexity of fire;
  • assets and infrastructure under threat;
  • differing fire direction;
  • severity and behaviour on specific sectors of the fire ground that are uncharacteristic to the remainder of the fire ground;
  • long protracted incidents.

In the example below, a Bushfire Advice Message has been issued (the blue area) advising of smoke in the area, while a Bushfire Emergency Warning Message (the red area) has been issued for the predicted impact area and a Bushfire Watch & Act Message (the yellow area)for the area where impact is predicted in more than 2 hours

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The Incidents table on the SACFS website at http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/incidents will show multiple warning messages in a pop up window, with links direct to the warning content from the table.

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Emergency Alert Messages

Emergency Alert is an additional tool in the provision of information to the community, disseminating warning information by text and voice messaging to fixed and mobile phones.  It is not the primary means of communicating bushfire information to the community and is utilised in conjunction with Bushfire Emergency Warning Messages.  Learn more about Emergency Alert.  

While the Police and Emergency Services will provide as much information as possible during a bushfire, it must be remembered that all people have a responsibility to ensure they are adequately prepared for bushfires and know what to do.