26 September 2023

DFES unveils new fire danger ratings

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The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has unveiled a new fire danger rating system to inform communities across the State better about bushfire risks.

The new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) is to be rolled out across all States and Territories to replace the previous fire danger rating system which has done its best since the 1960s.

The AFDRS will have four rating levels — Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic — replacing the previous six.

Minister for Emergency Services, Stephen Dawson said the AFDRS was backed by improvements in science that delivered more localised and accurate information for communities.

“The science better considers the various types of vegetation across our landscapes and incorporates the latest understanding about weather, fuel and how fire behaves in different types of vegetation to improve the reliability and accuracy of fire danger forecasts,” Mr Dawson said.

“There will be community actions advised at each level so the public understands what they need to do to protect themselves, their family and their homes.”

He said there would be a ‘no rating’ for days when conditions presented minimal fire risk.

“Roadside signs will be replaced and an extensive community engagement and education campaign is now under way,” Mr Dawson said.

“All States and Territories are adopting the new system, giving Australia a nationally consistent approach.

“This will benefit Western Australians who travel interstate during the bushfire season.”

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said the advice the community received would be easier to understand and more localised, while the new technology and research used would greatly improve the ability to predict fire behaviour and the potential threat to communities.

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