Research projects and FAQs
The new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) was launched on 1 September 2022, as a survival tool to make it easier to make decisions to stay safe on days of fire danger risk.
Its daily forecast tells you how dangerous a bushfire would be if it broke out, and what you need to do to stay safe on Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic days. The move to a simpler system is backed by improvements in science, which will mean we can better predict areas of greater risk on days of fire danger.
Fire Danger ratings vs Warnings
Fire Danger Ratings describe the potential level of danger a community could face, should a bushfire start. Use Fire Danger Ratings to understand and act before a fire starts.
Warnings Provide information about what to do during a hazard, such as a bushfire. Use Warnings to understand what danger you're in, and what you need to do to stay safe.
Bans and Ratings, you need to be aware of your Fire Ban District to help you assess your level of bushfire risk and to decide what actions to take.
Check under the fact sheets, providing detailed information about how the South Australia Country Fire Service keeps SA safe.
These publications are produced to help prepare the community for bushfire safety.
Make a bushfire plan.
We run a range of community programs that give people in the community skills and knowledge to be prepared for bushfires. This includes programs for schools, businesses, and the greater community.
Interim observations | Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements. See items 15-24 on shared responsibility.
Here are some resources to help prepare for a bushfire:
If you live, work and travel in an area where bushfires can occur, you need to be aware of where you can relocate to if you are threatened by a bushfire. Find your Bushfire Safer Place.
Recovery is coordinated by the Department of Human Services and mainly run by local government in SA. The CFS works towards helping with the transition to recovery.
The CFS utilises a range of technology including technology specifically for firefighting like thermal imaging cameras, vehicle locators, telecommunications equipment and our vehicles. Here is some of the technology we use at the CFS:
A big part of any emergency is getting accurate information to people as quickly as possible, the CFS uses some basic web-based tech such as social media, the CFS website, and email to send out messages. We also have access to the Emergency Alert phone system.
When the CFS develops our bushfire warnings messages, we use Geographical Information Systems to construct the content of the message and determine who needs to be warned.
Specialists are used to model bushfires and predict where they will burn once they have started so firefighting efforts can be concentrated in the most effective way possible.
The CFS is a Registered Training Organisation that offers over 170 courses to its members, that specifically align to the functions required by the organisation. Some courses offer Nationally Recognised (accredited) outcomes that align to the broader firefighting and emergency management industry sector and the others are service-level courses that meet a very specific needs of the CFS.
A new firefighting recruit will undertake a Basic Firefighting Course which covers the basics of bushfire behaviour, suppression techniques and an introduction to hazardous materials, road crash rescue, how to look after our equipment, and radio communication. The CFS offers more advanced courses in structural firefighting, road crash rescue, hazardous materials, aviation operations, incident management, command and leadership, offroad driving, and other skills such as how to run training courses and presentations. Our volunteers play a crucial role in this training and many of our trainers are volunteers who have done courses to become trainer-assessors of our courses.
- What do CFS volunteers do?
- Cadet Program for 11-18 year olds
To find out about prescribed burning practices and cultural burning in South Australia visit the Department for Environment and Water:
- Prescribed burns
- Private land burning
- Fire management
- Science and Society Network Seminar: Present and Future Directions for Cultural Fire (recorded June 20, 2020), find out about cultural burning through indigenous voice.
- Interim observations | Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements. See items 88-92 for observations on Public and private land management and 93-96 on indigenous land management.
NatureMaps provides a common access point to maps and geographic information about South Australia’s natural resources in an interactive online mapping format. Use the fire management layers to find out about past fires in South Australia.
There are requirements for all new homes and accommodation facilities built in South Australia's designated Bushfire Prone Areas. There is also information on extending an existing home in a designated Bushfire Prone Area.
Information on building and planning and development assessment.Information about the Australian Standards is here and the National Construction Codes.
The Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience
The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience has a range of disaster related learning resources linked to the Australian Curriculum including for lower primary to lower secondary aged students. Topics include Bushfire, Flood, Heatwave, and Pandemic. This includes lesson and unit plans, learning activities, and planning materials.
Project Firestorm from the NSW Rural Fire Service
Project firestorm is an in-depth and interactive set of activities that teach students about bushfires including fire behaviour and prevention. It then leads into a project where students identify a problem and then work on solving that problem through a process of designing and testing a prototype before producing a final product (something that can be done away from the screen). The entire set is hosted online for free and students can easily adapt to working remotely.
Interactive learning from Disaster Resilience Tasmania
This resource takes students through a range of disaster resilience lessons looking at real life stories from bushfires, considerations for what a disaster resilient community looks like, and recognising local hazards.
This resource has some information aimed specifically at a Tasmanian audience so be sure to make sure your students consider their local context. E.g. in the ‘Our local hazards’ lesson students are asked to visit LISTmap, for SA we would use nature maps and use the fire management layers.