Bushfires

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) has declared that bushfire season will begin one month early – on 1 September 2018 – due to forecast dry conditions.

Traditionally, the bushfire season commences on 1 October and runs through until 31 March, unless conditions warrant a variation. After assessment of the current conditions and consideration of forecast weather, the ESA Commissioner has made the decision to start the ACT bushfire season early.

The Bureau of Meteorology has advised a predicted El Niño event may produce hotter and drier conditions as we head into summer and unless the future outlook starts to suggest a different situation, predicted elevated risks to the ACT from heatwave, wildfire and dust storms are likely.

All Canberrans should ensure they understand Fire Danger Rating (FDR) levels to help them make decisions when travelling in and around the ACT. From 1 September 2018, the ESA will update the FDR daily, which is displayed on electronic signs on all major arterial roads across the ACT, as well as on the home page of the ESA website.

In addition, people living in Bushfire Prone Areas (BPA) should download a Bushfire Survival Plan from the ESA website, fill it in and have a discussion with their family about what they will do in the event of a fire.

During the bushfire season, rural landowners and managers must obtain a free permit from the ACT Rural Fire Service before conducting hazard reduction burns. To apply for a permit contact 6207 8609, or send an email request to rfs@act.gov.au.

You can check if you live in a BPA, download information about FDR levels and bushfire warnings, and find fact sheets on preparing for the bushfire season via the ESA website www.esa.act.gov.au.

Bushfire Survival Plan

A Bushfire Survival Plan helps you make important decisions before you are threatened by a bushfire.

Your plan will help protect the lives of your family and assist you in preparing your home to survive the threat of bushfire.

Download the official Bushfire Survival Plan document [PDF 2.7 MB].

power lines downCanberra is a city designed and built within a bush and grass landscape where residents are able to live, work and play among nature, hence the term, The Bush Capital.

This means bushfires are an inevitable fact of life in the ACT.

In this section of the ACT Emergency Services Agency website, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive range of information about bushfires and advice about what you and your family or household must do to reduce the impact when a fire or fires occur near your home, your place of work or recreation.

This could be within the city limits or out in the rural areas of the Territory.

Theses actions are required long before a fire starts, on a day of elevated fire danger and when a fire starts.

Bushfire information & resources

PREPARE. ACT. SURVIVE. is a national slogan that was adopted in 2009 following the Victorian Bushfires. These three little words are all about keeping you and your family as safe as possible before, during and after a bushfire.

  • PREPARE.

    Prepare
    months and weeks before the bushfire season.
    Prepare
    by knowing and understanding your risk.
    Prepare
    your Bushfire Survival Plan.
    Prepare
    your household by practicing your plan.
    Prepare
    you, your family, including your pets.
    Prepare
    your garden.
    Prepare
    your property.
    Prepare
    your bushfire emergency kit.
    Prepare
    your computer by listing the ACT Emergency Service website as one of your “favourites”.
  • ACT.

    Act
    days before and the day of predicted bad fire weather.
    Actively
    seek and act on the fire danger ratings.
    Actively
    your bushfire survival plan and put preparations into action — don’t wait and see.
    Actively
    seek updates so you know if a bushfire has started.
    Actively
    monitor the Emergency Services website, local radio and media.
    Act
    to save your life.
    Act
    to save your family, including pets.
    Act
    to prepare your property so that it can help to protect you should a bushfire start and take hold in your area.
  • SURVIVE.

    Survive
    during a bushfire. The safest place is away from the fire—your life and survival is the highest priority.

Fires may start without warning. Have a plan—make decisions and take action—know what you will do to survive.

For the best chances of survival monitor conditions, know the bushfire alert levels and keep up-to-date through this website, Twitter, Facebook, local media and the Canberra Connect Call Centre (13 22 81).