Dangerous bushfires can start at any time. It’s important to understand your risks and plan what you’ll do to keep safe when a bushfire threatens your home and family.
One of the most critical and valuable things you can do is to make a bushfire plan. Take 5 minutes now to discuss these simple questions:
When will you leave?
What will you take?
Where will you go?
If you think you and your family are not at risk of bushfire, you should think again. Over 90% of WA is bushfire prone.
Bushfires can happen anywhere and at any time, so it's important to know and understand the risks that affect you.
Is your property in a bushfire prone area? Find out for yourself with the Bushfire Prone Map.
Grass fires can start easily and spread quickly. If you live in an area where houses or urban areas are near grasslands, you're at risk.
Coastal scrub fires can be hot and move fast. If you live near coastal scrub, you’re at risk.
Bushfires can start anywhere, so even if you live in a suburban area near parks or reserves, you’re at risk.
Fires can spread quickly over large areas like paddocks. If you live on a farm or near paddocks, you’re at risk.
If you live in an area surrounded by or near forest or bushland, you’re at high risk.
If you live on or near steep hills, you live in a high-risk area. The steeper the slope, the faster a fire will burn up it.
Some areas have a history of bushfires. If your area has experienced a lot of bushfires in the past, you are more at risk.
Fires need fuel to burn. As the weather warms up, vegetation around your property naturally dries out and increases your bushfire risk. If you have long grass, forest and woodland-floor litter and flammable scrub nearby, you're in a high-risk area.
Being able to leave the area is crucial if there is a fire. If your area has a single road, a long dead-end road, or roads that are easily blocked by falling trees, you are more at risk.
If you live with any of these high-risk factors, you’ll need to prepare your home, property and family in case of a bushfire. It is important that you and your family decide and agree on what you will do if a bushfire threatens your home. Take 5 minutes now to start your bushfire plan with your household and neighbours.
Bushfires can happen all year round. But during the hottest and driest times of the year, bushfire risk is at its highest.
On hot, dry and windy days, there’s a much higher chance of a bushfire starting and getting out of control. If you’re travelling on these days:
Visit safer places such as cities and towns.
Be prepared to change your travel plans at short notice if a fire starts.
Make sure someone outside your travel group knows your plans, destinations and expected times.
If you plan to travel in bushfire season it’s essential you know what to do if you encounter a bushfire. Every year, people are killed or seriously injured by bushfires. If you’re travelling or staying near bushland, fire is a real risk for you.
Follow our tips below to stay safe when travelling this bushfire season.
What to pack in your bushfire emergency kit
Before leaving on a road trip, it is essential to have a potentially life-saving emergency kit packed. Your kit should include essential items such as:
Total Fire Bans
A Total Fire Ban (TFB) is issued for days when fires will be very difficult to control and are most likely to threaten lives and property. On a TFB day, all open-air fire activity is prohibited, including campfires, cookers and ovens that use solid fuel like wood or charcoal.
Restricted and prohibited burning times are put in place during periods of high bushfire threat. Restriction times and restricted activities can differ between local governments, so it’s essential to check the local rules and current information of each place you plan to visit.
Travelling with a caravan
Make sure your caravan is as safe as possible by:
Stay up to date
When you are travelling, the best way to get bushfire information is via ABC local radio. In a major bushfire, ABC local radio will communicate emergency broadcast across all radio programs approximately every 15 minutes.
Fire Danger Ratings
The Fire Danger Rating (FDR) tells you how dangerous a fire would be if one started. The higher the FDR, the more severe the bushfire is expected to be.
It is vital that you are aware of the FDR for the areas you plan to travel in. You can find all of the current FDRs for WA here.
Encountering a bushfire while driving
Bushfires can affect roads and highways, leading to reduced visibility and even road closures. Before you head out, always check road conditions first by contacting Main Roads WA on 138 138 or using this Travel Map to find current alerts, road works or traffic issues.
If you see signs of a bushfire in the distance, like smoke or flames, carefully pull over to the side of the road to assess the situation and call triple zero. If it is safe to do so, turn around and leave the area immediately. If you become trapped by a fire:
Whenever you are staying in a bushfire prone area overnight, be sure to:
Save these important numbers into your mobile phone and write them down:
During an emergency, stay up to date by:
An open campfire is part of camping. But campfires can easily cause a bushfire if you do not build or extinguish them correctly.
Follow our simple tips below to stay safe when you’re camping.
Before you light a fire
Building a safe campfire
Looking after your campfire
Putting your campfire out
Basic campfire safety
Carelessly discarded cigarette butts are a frequent cause of fires.
Over seven billion cigarette butts are discarded across Australia every year and are the most frequently recorded type of litter in Western Australia.
Careless disposal of a cigarette butt can also be very costly, attracting a fine of up to $500 for an individual.
Make sure your butt is fully extinguished before disposing of it and never throw it from a car.
If you see someone carelessly dispose of a cigarette you can report the offence to Keep Australia Beautiful WA at www.kabc.wa.gov.au or phone 1300 766 541.
Penalties have increased: