On a day of Extreme or Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating, the most important thing you should do is activate your Bushfire Survival Plan.
Fires can threaten suddenly without warning, and can travel very fast. It's important that you use triggers to warn you of the potential for danger before a fire even starts. Days of high fire danger are usually hot, dry and windy.
Finding out the Fire Danger Rating is the best way to identify if it is a day of high fire danger. Remember, the Fire Danger Rating is not a predictor of how likely a bushfire is to occur, but how dangerous it could be if it did occur. You should not become complacent because there have been days with high Fire Danger Ratings and no bushfires.
The Bureau of Meteorology issues the Fire Danger Rating after 4pm for the next day.
One of the best ways to identify whether you need to activate your Bushfire Survival Plan early is to find out the Fire Danger Rating for the next day. Don't wait until there is a fire, activate your plan well before a fire starts on high fire danger days.
The most important thing on high fire risk days is to be alert to what is going on around you. Most of your actions will be the same whether you are leaving early or staying and defending. They include:
- monitoring the radio
- checking the weather forecast
- ringing neighbours to share facts and opinions
- ringing the Information Hotline on 1800 362 361 about what is happening in your area
- going outside and looking for smoke every 30 minutes
- performing the actions that will allow you more time as the fire front approaches
- performing the actions that are part of your local community strategies, for example, checking on a vulnerable neighbour.