Bushfires can occur without warning and can quickly affect your travel route or holiday destination.

You could be at risk travelling in the country during bushfire season. Recognise the warning signs and learn what to do to keep yourself safe.

5 Minute Bushfire Plan header (1024x150)

Know the risk of areas you're travelling to and through

Fire Ban Districts

Fire restrictions apply throughout South Australia's Fire Ban Districts during the Fire Danger Season. Knowing which Fire Ban District you are visiting is the first step in finding out which restrictions apply.

Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans

The Fire Danger Rating is an indicator of how dangerous a bushfire could be if it occurs, not the likelihood of it happening. Understand the Fire Danger Rating to assess your level of bushfire risk and decide what actions to take.

The CFS may declare Total Fire Bans in some Fire Ban Districts or even across the whole state on days when high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity could cause fires to become uncontrollable. Barbecues and camp fires are banned on these days. Find out what restrictions are in place in your area on a Total Fire Ban day and what you can and can't do.

To find your District, Rating or if it's a Total Fire Ban:

Hearing or speech impaired? Contact us via the National Relay Service – by calling TTY 1300 555 727 or through other contact options available at relayservice.gov.au

Know your daily Fire Danger Rating

AFDRS visual device

Fire Danger Rating What does it mean? What should you do?
MODERATE Most fires can be controlled Plan and prepare
HIGH Fires can be dangerous Be ready to act
EXTREME Fires will spread quickly and be extremely dangerous Take action now to protect your life and property
CATASTROPHIC If a fire starts and takes hold, lives are likely to be lost For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas

 

Plan for high fire danger days

Fires that start on Total Fire Ban days will be more dangerous but many fires start in less than severe conditions.

  • If your travel or activities take you into high fire risk areas, can you modify or postpone your trip, plan a different route, swap to an activity that is safer or not banned on Total Fire Ban days?
  • Can a work-related job be done on another day/safer location?
  • Do your plans involve activities or tools banned on a Total Fire Ban day?
  • Where is your nearest Bushfire Safer Place if a bushfire threatens?

Leaving a high risk bushfire area early, before a fire starts, is always the safest option for your survival. We have identified places that can offer relative safety from a bushfire.

Bushfire Safer Places

  • Adelaide Metropolitan area, outer suburbs and rural settlements. Use if you need to relocate early.
  • Suitable for use during forecast bad fire weather or during bushfire.
  • May be subject to sparks, embers and smoke.

Bushfire Last Resort Refuge

  • Ovals, buildings in rural areas. Use only if your plan has failed.
  • Not suitable for extended use and provides only limited protection during bushfire.

Pack your emergency kit

Pack essential items you'll need to survive a bushfire when you're travelling, including:

  • Printed copy of my bushfire plan
  • Portable radio with batteries in case power or mobile service goes out
  • Woollen blankets in case you get caught on the road
  • Printed map with main routes identified
  • Protective clothing made of natural materials to protect from radiant heat (eg. long sleeves shirt and long pants, sturdy footwear)
  • Food and plenty of drinking water to avoid dehydration
  • Personal locator beacons/satellite phone
  • First aid kit

Bushfire traveller safety tips

Bushwalking

Avoid bushwalking on Total Fire Ban days but, if you are caught in a bushfire, do not try to outrun the flames.

  • Head for a natural fire break, e.g. clearing or rocky outcrop
  • Keep away from high ground in the path of the fire
  • Cover yourself or shelter behind a solid object (e.g. a rock or solid structure) to protect yourself against radiant heat

Camping and houseboats

If camping, staying in a caravan park or travelling in a houseboat:

  • ask if there is a Bushfire Safer place or safe area nearby
  • sheltering in a brick toilet building or shower block might be an option
  • be careful using generators
  • make sure you are familiar with local restrictions applying to fires and barbecues
  • if you are visiting a national park, contact your local parks office or ask the Rangers about the local fire and barbecue regulations. Some parks are closed on fire danger days so you may need to leave your campsite.

If you are caught in the path of a bushfire

A car is one of the deadliest places to be in a bushfire. The only sure way to survive is to be nowhere near the fire.

  • If you see smoke, slow down and be aware there could be people, vehicles or animals on the road.
  • Turn around where safe to do so and drive to the nearest township or Bushfire Safer Place.
  • Pull over to the side of the road and stop your vehicle in a clear area.
  • Turn your car headlights on and close windows and outside vents.
  • Ensure you are not in the path of the fire.
  • Keep your headlights and hazard lights on and wait until the smoke clears.

If you can't escape the path of the fire:

  • stay inside your vehicle – it offers better protection than being in the open
  • park in a clear area, preferably behind a solid structure to block some of the radiant heat
  • face your car towards the fire
  • turn the engine and air-conditioning off
  • tightly close the doors, windows and air vents
  • lie on the floor and shelter under woollen blankets to protect yourself from radiant heat
  • avoid dehydration: drink lots of water
  • heat and smoke from the fire and fumes from the car may make breathing difficult – stay under the blankets and cover your mouth with a P2 mask
  • stay down until the sound of the fire has passed, carefully leave the car (it will be hot)
  • move to a safe area (e.g. land that has already burnt)

Stay informed

Do not rely on a single source for emergency warning information. On high fire danger days:

Learn more

Bushfire Danger in SA - Multilingual Tourism Poster

A bushfire safety factsheet/display poster for tourists and the tourism sector. Bushfire danger information is provided in English and translated into Arabic, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Chinese Traditional and Vietnamese.

Bushfire traveller safety

If you are travelling in the country for work or pleasure, you need to think about bushfire safety. This leaflet will help you manage your country travel plans and help you prepare yourself and your vehicle in case a bushfire does occur.