Never travel into a high risk bushfire area where a Code Red Fire Danger Rating has been declared or where fires are burning.
In an emergency, call triple 0 (000) to contact police, fire or ambulance (TTY 106). Calls are free. You should only call triple 0 in life threatening or time critical situations when an urgent response is needed from police, fire or ambulance.
Bushfire safety checklist for travellers
The warmer months are the perfect time to discover Victoria. However, if you are travelling in high risk bushfire areas between November and April, take a few simple steps to ensure that your visit is safe and enjoyable.
Victoria's high risk bushfire areas are typically heavily forested, have thick bush or long, dry grass, or are coastal areas with lots of plant life.
Before you leave
- Find out the Fire Danger Rating for the area you are visiting.
It's important to check the Fire Danger Rating every day so that you know when the local conditions are dangerous. Go to cfa.vic.gov.au
- Find out if there is a Total Fire Ban in the area you are visiting.
A Total Fire Ban sets legal restrictions on certain activities that may start a fire, including restrictions around barbecues and campfires. Go to cfa.vic.gov.au
- Download the FireReady app and save the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (1800 240 667) in your mobile phone.
Use the FireReady app or call 1800 240 667 to check the Fire Danger Ratings and fire warnings every day while you are away.
- Pack a few essential items.
Woollen blankets, drinking water, sturdy shoes and protective clothing such as long-sleeved tops and pants made from natural fibres will help you if you are caught in a fire situation.
- Pack hard copy maps.
Electronic mapping devices or mobile phones may be affected by smoke.
While you are away
- Monitor local weather conditions.
On hot, dry and windy days it's better to visit safer places such as regional cities.
- Seek information from locals.
Your host or the nearest accredited Visitor Information Centre may be able to suggest alternative holiday activities on high risk days and provide local bushfire information.
- Obtain a Community Information Guide.
These provide local information that will help you decide what to do on high risk days or if a fire starts. Ask for a copy at an accredited Visitor Information Centre or download a copy from cfa.vic.gov.au
- Listen to ABC Local Radio or other emergency broadcasters for fire warnings.
- Watch for signs of fire such as smoke and emergency vehicles.
Do not expect an official warning.
- Plan carefully when a Code Red Fire Danger Rating is forecast.
If you are staying in a high risk area and a Code Red is forecast, leaving early is always the safest option. Leave the night before or early on the day of a Code Red. Keep monitoring warnings and signs of fire activity, and return only when it is clearly safe to do so. A Code Red Fire Danger Rating is rare, but when it is forecast it is very serious.
Bushfire safety tips for hikers and campers, and park and forest closure information, are available at parks.vic.gov.au
Burning off on public land
The Department of Sustainability and Environment and partner agencies conduct planned burns on public land. This aims to protect communities and infrastructure from the risk of bushfire, and can also benefit local ecology. Controlled burns are mostly in autumn, when the weather and fuel conditions are best for this work. Burns may also take place in spring.
Smoke from planned burns is often noticeable and can cause anxiety. If you are concerned about smoke or fire on public land, please call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667 or visit dse.vic.gov.au/fire to confirm the locations of planned burns.