Australian Fire Danger Ratings

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Living in a bushfire risk area means danger is on your doorstep.

The new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) is your simplified survival tool. 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 new Australian Fire Danger Rating System. Learn to live by it.

Understanding the new system

From 1 September 2022, Australia's Fire Danger Rating System will be improved and simplified, to make it easier for you to make decisions to stay safe on days of fire danger risk.

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.

Across the country there will be nationally consistent colours and terminology. This means that wherever you go in Australia, and whatever the season or fuels you’re surrounded by, you can understand the level of threat and what you need to do to stay safe.


Know your daily Fire Danger Rating

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

Fire Danger Ratings vs Warnings

AFDRS visual device
Warning icon - fire - yellowWarning icon - fire - orangeWarning icon - fire - red

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.


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.


Fire danger ratings describe the potential level of danger should a bushfire start and are calculated using a combination of weather forecasting and information about vegetation that could fuel a fire.
Extensive social research found that most people in bushfire risk areas don’t understand the current system. There were calls for a simpler, action-oriented system.
The science that sits behind Fire Danger Rating modelling is being improved. A better understanding of how different fuel types burn and improvements in technology means we can more accurately predict the risk faced by communities on any given day.
Industries and members of the community who need more information will be able to access the Fire Behaviour Index, which will give a more in-depth level of detail about the fire danger.
Community research found that most people were familiar with the old system, it just seemed too technical and irrelevant for them. We have made significant changes to how we calculate fire danger risk, so that the ratings and information provided to the community is more accurate.
The AFDRS is being coordinated by NSW RFS and AFAC (the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services), with support from the Bureau of Meteorology. A National Program Board, with representation from each of the State and Territories’ fire agencies are overseeing the program, which is being delivered by local implementation teams.