Bushfire Safer Places

If you live, work or 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.

We have identified places that can offer relative safety from a bushfire. They are divided into two categories

  • Bushfire Safer Places
  • Last Resort Refuges.

You need to know

  • what each of these are
  • where they are
  • what risk you may be exposed to if you use one of these options during a bushfire.

A booklet on Bushfire Safer Places has been developed to help with your planning.

Find the Bushfire Safer Places and Last Resort Refuges in your local council area.

Use the map below to view Bushfire Safer Places and Last Resort Refuges in South Australia.

Bushfire Safer Places in SA

BUSHFIRE SAFER PLACE
(Safer Place Icon)

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.

LAST RESORT REFUGE
(Last Resort Refuge Icon)

Ovals, buildings in rural areas.

Use if your plan has failed.

Not suitable for extended use and provides only limited protection during bushfire.

Bushfire Safer Places

 

Bushfire Safer Place IconA Bushfire Safer Place is a place of relative safety. It may be used as a place for people to stay in or as a place of first resort for those who have decided they will leave high risk locations early on a high fire risk day.

Properties on the edge of these locations generally face a higher level of risk compared with those nearer the centre of the area. The relative safety of these properties can be improved by property owners undertaking appropriate bushfire safety measures to ensure they don't place themselves and the greater community at risk.

A Bushfire Safer Place is relatively safe from bushfire because:

  • It is in an area of low levels of bushfire fuel
  • It is far enough from continuous bushland or forest to reduce the risk of sparks and embers
  • The bushfire will be interrupted by
    • established gardens and lawns
    • road networks and other low fuel areas
  • There is likely to be access to emergency, health and other community services.

If your Bushfire Survival Plan includes relocating to a Bushfire Safer Place you should:

  • Identify where your nearest Bushfire Safer Place is
  • Identify where there are suitable alternatives
  • Work out how you will get there
  • Work out alternative routes to take
  • Work out how long it will take you to get there
  • Decide under what circumstances you will relocate
  • Decide what your trigger points for action will be
  • Plan for your relocation; when, where and what you will take

We recommend that if you intend to relocate to a Bushfire Safer Place you should do so early in the day. Last minute decisions to relocate in the face of fire are extremely dangerous.

Will you be safe in a Bushfire Safer Place?

There are no guarantees regarding your safety if you choose to stay in a Bushfire Safer Place or if you relocate to one.

It is unlikely you will be exposed to direct flame or severe radiant heat.

You may be exposed to spark, embers and smoke which may start secondary fires in vegetation, gardens and structures.

Even if your property is located within a Bushfire Safer Place you should prepare your home and undertake appropriate bushfire safety measures on your property.

Last Resort Refuges

Bushfire Last Resort IconIt is important not to confuse Last Resort Refuges with a Bushfire Safer Place.

Last Resort Refuges are your LAST choice of location to shelter from a bushfire.

A Last Resort Refuge is a space or building which you could go to and remain in during a bushfire in your area.

It is an area that provides a minimum level of protection from the immediate life threatening effects of radiant heat and direct flame contact in a bushfire.

A Last Resort Refuge is intended to provide a place of relative safety during a bushfire. It does not guarantee the survival of those who assemble there. You should only use a Last Resort Refuge when your personal Bushfire Survival Plans cannot be implemented or have failed.

Risks associated with Last Resort Refuges are:

  • Travelling to a Last Resort Refuge may be dangerous. Traffic congestion, fire activity, heavy smoke, accidents or fallen trees may block the route
  • There is no guarantee that you will be safe from fire or radiant heat when travelling to or sheltering at a Last Resort Refuge
  • Emergency services may not be present
  • There may be limited capacity
  • Last Resort Refuges do not cater for animals
  • Last Resort Refuges do not provide meals, amenities or special needs (e.g. for infants, the elderly, the ill or disabled)
  • Last Resort Refuges may not provide shelter from the elements, particularly flying sparks and embers.

A Last Resort Refuge is not designed to replace a personal Bushfire Survival Plan.

You should complete and practise your Bushfire Survival Plan to ensure that you and your family are prepared and know what to do in the event of a bushfire.