27 September 2023

Hot new rating system for fire dangers

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Rating bushfire danger across the State is set to be overhauled soon with a new system expected to come into effect later this year providing more accurate and clearer advice.

Announcing the new Australia-wide ‘Fire Danger Rating System’, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) said the System was being developed using the latest science to be more accurate and relevant to where people lived.

“The new system will be used across the country, so whether you’re at home or traveling, you will see the same system being used,” the CFA said.

It said community feedback was used in the design process to help make it easier to understand and provide the community with clearer advice about how to stay safe.

“The new Fire Danger Ratings have four levels (instead of six) – Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic,” the CFA said.

It said there would be actions associated with each level so people would know what to do to protect their life, family and property.

Victorians are expected to start seeing the new Fire Danger Ratings online and in their local communities from September this year.

“The science underpinning the existing Fire Danger Ratings has largely remained unchanged for more than 50 years,” the CFA said.

“During that time, our understanding of fire and fire behaviour has changed.”

It said that in recent years, fire authorities had mapped the vegetation across the entire country.

“So instead of the current system using just bush and grass to determine the fire danger, the new system will use eight different types of vegetation, making it more accurate.”

It said the rollout of the new System would be supported by an extensive community engagement and education campaign, and Victorians would be able to check the daily fire danger for their area on the CFA website.

“We’ll also be updating the hundreds of local Fire Danger Rating signs in communities across the State,” the Country Fire Authority said.

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