Australian Fire Danger Rating System

The Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) is a daily forecast tells you how dangerous a bushfire would be if it broke out, and what you need to do to stay safe on Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic days.

  • Fire Danger Ratings describe the consequences of a fire if one was to start. They do not indicate the chance of a fire occurring, although this is a common misconception.
  • Ratings are calculated using a combination of weather forecasting and information about vegetation that could fuel a fire.
  • Total Fire Bans will typically apply at Extreme and above.
  • Fire Danger Ratings are declared for a Fire Area. These are based on local government areas. You can find your Fire Area at
  • During harvest season, Harvest Safety Alerts may be issued for areas at High and above.
  • When the fire danger reaches High, permits may be suspended. Check any conditions on your fire permit.
  • You can use the Fire Danger Ratings as a trigger for action in your bushfire survival plan.

The official Fire Danger Rating for the following day is issued after 4:30pm by the CFS.


By visiting the CFS website at

Listening to your local news OR ABC radio

Checking Alert SA

Calling the Information Hotline on 1800 362 361

The Fire Danger Season generally runs from November through to April, although these dates may change due to seasonal conditions. The exact dates are published prior to the Fire Danger Season on the CFS website. During the Fire Danger Season restrictions are placed on lighting fires to reduce the chances of large fires starting.

District Council of Elliston belongs to West Coast Region 6 area.  However, it is important to remember you may travel through or work in other areas, and restrictions may differ for each district on a day-to-day basis.

Dates and restrictions for each district may vary due to fuel loads, rainfall, ground moisture levels, and population densities.

Bushfires can start suddenly without warning - are you ready?

If you and your home are well prepared, you stand a better chance of surviving a bushfire. The Guide to Bushfire Safety explains ways of making your property less vulnerable to bushfire attack, will help you make the correct choices if a bushfire threatens and incorporates a template for your Bushfire Survival Plan.

What’s inside this guide:

  • Am I at risk and what Fire Ban District am I in?
  • What do the Fire Danger Ratings mean and what are the fire regulations - what can I / can’t I do?
  • Why do you need to plan and how to prepare your home and get ready, including creating your Bushfire Survival Plan.
  • What to do on a fire risk day and during a fire.
  • Information on radiant heat and how bushfires behave.
  • Surviving if you get caught in a building or in a car.

Bushfire Safety Guide  can be accessed here.

Bushfires can occur without warning and can quickly affect your location. If you live or are travelling in the country for work or leisure, you need to think about bushfire safety.

The information provided will help you manage your country travel plans and help you prepare yourself and your vehicle in case a bushfire does occur.

Bushfire Traveller Safety document can be accessed here.

You and your family's safety and survival during a bushfire will depend on how prepared you are, and the decisions you make. It is essential to make a bushfire survival plan and it can take as little as 5 minutes!

Making a choice when a bushfire threatens is too late.  Your safety and survival during a bushfire will depend on how prepared you are and the decisions you make, and a written plan will take the pressure off you.

You can create your 5 minute Bushfire Plan now for you, your family, and your pets and livestock. Start your plan

Or download and complete the Bushfire Survival Plan Template

Make use of the CFS Website Household self-assessment tool to help you become bushfire ready!

If you live, work or travel in an area where bushfires can occur you need to make a plan that includes places you can relocate to if you are threatened by a bushfire.

There are two categories of places that can be used to shelter from a bushfire that we have identified. The preferred category called Bushfire Safer Places offers the greater level of protection.

Bushfire Safer Places are suitable for use during bad fire weather or during bushfire. They are built up areas that have:

  • lots of buildings that can provide protection
  • roads that provide fuel breaks and multiple access points
  • dispersed vegetation, such as short grass and maintained landscaping, that makes the spread of fire more difficult.

The second category called Bushfire Last Resort Refuges offers little protection but may provide a central gathering point if all other options aren't available.

The use of a Bushfire Last Resort Refuge is not recommended and should only be used if your plan has failed and you cannot reach a Bushfire Safer Place. Bushfire Last Resort Refuges are marked with a sign. They may be an oval/sporting ground, recreational area, community hall, foreshore, or carpark area.

Risks associated with Bushfire Last Resort Refuges are:

  • travelling to a Bushfire Last Resort Refuge may be dangerous. Traffic congestion, fire activity, heavy smoke, accidents or fallen trees may block the route
  • there is no guarantee that you will be safe from fire or radiant heat when travelling to or sheltering at a Bushfire Last Resort Refuge
  • emergency services may not be present
  • there may be limited capacity
  • Bushfire Last Resort Refuges do not cater for animals
  • Bushfire Last Resort Refuges do not provide meals, amenities or special needs (e.g. for infants, the elderly, the ill or disabled)
  • Bushfire Last Resort Refuges may not provide shelter from the elements, particularly flying sparks and embers.

Find your bushfire safer place and last resort refuges here 

Or Find location by Council area

Once the Fire Danger Season has begun there are strict controls on the lighting of fires and the use of certain tools in the open. The restrictions remain in place until the end of the Fire Danger Season.

To find out what you can do and what you can’t do during the Fire Danger Season and on a Total Fire Ban day.


People can have a fire for comfort and cooking purposes as long as it is:

  • Not a total fire ban day, please check the CFS website prior to lighting
  • Is within a fire pit at least 20 cm deep
  • Has a 4 metre clearance around the fire
  • Is smaller than 1 m²
  • A person is always in attendance until the fire is totally extinguished
  • An appropriate agent to extinguish the fire is on hand