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Fire Danger Rating System

Published on Tuesday, 6 September 2022 at 3:01:38 PM

Town of Port Hedland residents are advised that the current Fire Danger Rating system changed to a new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) backed up by a new Fire Behaviour Index (FBI) on 1 September 2022.

The change will see ratings decrease from six to four and will be displayed in a uniform format on signage across the nation. Across the country fire and emergency services are applying nationally consistent colours, signs, and terminology. This means that wherever you go in Australia, and whatever the season or fuels you’re surrounded with, you can understand the level of threat and what you need to do to stay safe.

The current Fire Danger Rating System is largely based on science that is more than 60 years old.

New technology and research have greatly improved our ability to predict fire behaviour and the potential threat more accurately to the community. The new fire danger rating system is designed to be continuously up dateable so that the system can take advantage of and further improve science, data and information into the future.”

The AFDRS will have four levels with action-oriented messages to encourage people to take action. The ratings and high-level messages are:

  1. Moderate: Plan and prepare.
  2. High: Be ready to act.
  3. Extreme: Take action now to protect life and property.
  4. Catastrophic: For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas.

Supporting messages, including localised information, will clearly explain what community response is required at each level.

The AFDRS also introduces an ‘off’ or ‘no rating’ level (white strip under Moderate) for days where no proactive action is required. This does not mean that fires cannot happen, but that they are not likely to move or act in a threatening way.


The Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) Program is redesigning the forecasting of fire by

  • Improving the scientific accuracy behind fire danger predictions.
  • Improving the way that fire danger is communicated
  • Providing government and industry with better decision-making tools.
  • Reducing the costs associated with bushfire impacts.

The key benefit is a more prepared and resilient community resulting in a reduction in loss of life, property, and human harm.

The AFDRS calculates fire danger at a finer geographic scale than ever before so more specific and relevant information can be provided.

Significant cost savings are expected due to improved fire danger information leading to better decisions and more appropriate and timely action. It will also improve cross-border operations and support sharing of firefighting resources.

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