Fire Danger Ratings are changing soon

AFDRS signs

The way we determine and communicate Fire Danger Ratings is changing.

A new Fire Danger Rating System is being developed using the latest science to be more accurate and relevant to where you live.

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.

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

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

There’ll be actions for each level, so you’ll know what to do to protect your life, family and property.

You’ll start seeing the new fire danger ratings online and in your local community from September 2022.

What you need to know 

  • The Australian Fire Danger Rating System is an entirely new way of determining and communicating Fire Danger Ratings.
  • The rollout of the system will be supported by an extensive community engagement and education campaign.
  • Using the latest science and community input, the new system aims to provide more accurate and timely information about fire danger.
  • The new system has four levels of fire danger ratings and actions, bringing national consistency to the public display of ratings.

Science and the community 

The science underpinning the existing fire danger ratings has largely remained unchanged for more than 50 years.  During that time, our understanding of fire and fire behaviour has changed.

In recent years, we’ve 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.

Using the latest science, fire agencies like the NSW RFS will be able to better assess the conditions and the consequences of a fire, if one was to start.

The new national system also uses extensive community research, to deliver a simplified approach to communicating bush fire danger ratings.

The new fire danger ratings

There are four levels of fire danger in the new system:

fire danger levels

  • Moderate – Plan and prepare
  • High – Be ready to act
  • Extreme – Take action now to protect your life and property
  • Catastrophic - For your survival, leave bush fire risk areas

Fire Danger Ratings will be issued on days when there is a fire risk.

Each fire danger will have a clear set of messages including the actions the community can take to reduce their risk.

Fire danger rating signs

The new bush fire danger ratings will be used from September.

You’ll be able to check the daily fire danger for your area on the RFS website.

We’ll also be updating the hundreds of local fire danger rating signs in communities across the state.