Keep an eye on the Fire Danger ratings

BE PREPARED: Having knowledge of what the Fire Danger Ratings mean will help you make an informed decision about what to do in the event of a bushfire near you. Check your local fire authority's website for more information.
BE PREPARED: Having knowledge of what the Fire Danger Ratings mean will help you make an informed decision about what to do in the event of a bushfire near you. Check your local fire authority's website for more information.

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The Fire Danger Rating is forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology from the start of November to the end of April each year. It’s not a predictor of how likely a bushfire is to occur, but how dangerous it could be, and should be used as an early indicator to begin your fire plan. 

Code Red/Catastrophic

What does it mean?

These are the worst conditions for a grass or bushfire. The safest place is away from high risk bushfire areas.

What should I do?

Homes are not designed to withstand these conditions. Leaving high risk bushfire areas the night before or early in the day is your safest option - do not wait and see.

Avoid forested areas, thick bush or long, dry grass. 

Know your trigger - make a decision about when you will leave, where you will go, how you will get there, when you will return, and what will you do if you cannot leave.

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Extreme

What does it mean?

Expect extremely hot, dry and windy conditions. If a fire starts and takes hold, it will be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving. Spot fires will start, move quickly and come from many directions.

Homes built or modified to withstand a bushfire, are well prepared and actively defended, may provide safety.

You must be physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions.

What should I do?

Only consider staying with your property if you are prepared to the highest level. This means your home needs to be situated and built or modified to withstand a bushfire, you are well prepared and can actively defend your home if a fire starts. If you are not prepared to the highest level, leaving high risk bushfire areas early in the day is the safest option.

Severe

What does it mean?

Expect hot, dry and possibly windy conditions. If a fire starts and takes hold, it may be uncontrollable. Well prepared homes that are actively defended may provide safety.

You must be physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions.

What should I do?

Well prepared homes that are actively defended may provide safety - check your bushfire survival plan. If you are not prepared, leaving bushfire prone areas early in the day is your safest option.

Very high/High/Moderate

What does it mean?

If a fire starts, it can most likely be controlled in these conditions and homes can provide safety. Controlled burning off may occur in these conditions if it is safe - check to see if permits apply.

What should I do?

Check your bushfire survival plan and monitor conditions. Action may be needed and leave the area if necessary.

This story Keep an eye on the ratings first appeared on Eyre Peninsula Tribune.