Official Start to the 2022-2023 Bushfire Season

November 1 2022 marks the official beginning of the 2022-23 bushfire season.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman said while the start of the bushfire season was delayed this year because of high rainfall and the La Nina weather pattern, summer is nearly here.

“This season we are pleased to be using the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS), which has been introduced in all Australian jurisdictions to provide nationally consistent information on bushfire risk,” Minister Gentleman said.

“The new system, which includes updated roadside warning signs, will mean that no matter where you are in Australia, you will see and hear the same descriptions around fire risk and know what to do.

“I encourage all Canberrans to take the time now to understand the new fire danger rating system and make a plan for days of elevated fire risk,” Minister Gentleman said.

The new AFDRS has four levels of risk: moderate, high, extreme and catastrophic. Each level corresponds with the action people need to take to protect themselves and others: plan and prepare, prepare to act, take ation now to protect your life and property, and for your survival, leave bush fire risk areas.

ESA Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said the community should remain vigilant and alert and understand the risks in their area this season.

“With the recent rainfall, we anticipate the bushfire risk will remain low throughout November and December. However, when the weather warms up, we will see the grass begin to dry out, bringing an increased risk of fast-moving grass fires,” Commissioner Whelan said.

ACT Rural Fire Service (ACTRFS) Chief Officer Rohan Scott said Canberrans planning on travelling over the holiday season should stay up to date with the latest weather information both for where they’re travelling to and the areas they’re passing through on the way.

“If you're staying home, take the time to complete or update your Survival Plan and make sure everyone in your household understands it. Clearing material that can burn from around your home, trimming trees and shrubs and preparing your home emergency kit are also critical steps in preparing for the high-risk season,” Chief Officer Scott said.

For more information on how to Be Emergency Ready visit our ESA website.

In a life-threatening emergency, or if you see a fire that is unattended, call Emergency Triple Zero (000).