total fire bans
in australian states
What is a Total Fire Ban?
A total fire ban may be declared for
days when fires are likely to escape and be difficult to contain for
public safety. Extreme fire danger is caused by a combination of dry
vegetation and hot, dry, windy weather. The Bureau of Meteorology
provides advice on forecast weather conditions and fire danger ratings
during the Bushfire Danger Period.
Rural Fire Services Commissioner in each state declares Total Fire Bans
based on this advice and other information. This decision is generally
made at around 5pm each afternoon during the Bushfire Danger Period and
the Total Fire Ban applies for the following day, starting from midnight
and lasting 24 hours. The RFS Commissioner is also responsible for
exemptions to Total Fire Bans. A range of activities may be exempt from
Total Fire Bans, such as emergency infrastructure work or ceremonial
fires. These are detailed each time a ban is declared.
How is a Total Fire Ban
During a total fire
ban certain restrictions apply to lighting fires in the open which applies
when we are camping. The degree of fire danger is calculated using
information on temperature, wind speed, relative humidity and the drought
factor (how dry the vegetation is). This information is forwarded to
bushfire services from the Bureau of Meteorology twice a day. The
mid-afternoon weather statement is used to determine the need for a total
Fire Ban the following day.
How will I know if a Total Fire
Ban is declared?
Announcements are made in newspapers, radio & on television. When
travelling & camping try listening to the evening or morning news on a
local radio station for fire restriction warnings updates & Total Fire Ban
What are Fire Areas?
process for declaring Total Fire Bans & delivering fire weather
information is now being used. The declarations were previously based on
the Bureau of Meteorology Weather Forecast Districts. Declarations are now
based on Fire Areas which are smaller & based on local government area
boundaries. This means fire weather information and Total Fire Bans are
more specific to local conditions.
Total Fire Ban Rules
state has their own specific rules for Total Fire Ban days. Please check
with the local authorities you are travelling & camping in to make certain
what Total Fire Ban rules apply to you.
doubt it is best not to light a fire in the open during a Total Fire Ban.
This includes incinerators & barbecues which burn solid fuel, e.g. wood or
charcoal, however in some states gas & electric barbecues may be used
it is on a
residential property within 20m of the house or dwelling
if it is a
picnic area and the appliance is approved by council, National Park or
it is under the
direct control of an adult
within 2m of the barbecue is cleared of all materials which could burn
you have an
immediate and continuous supply of water available.
Fines and penalties
Lighting a fire on a day of Total Fire Ban can attract a fine of up to
$5,500 and/or 12 months gaol in some states. Penalties for a fire that
escapes and damages or destroys life, property or the environment can
attract much greater fines & gaol terms with maximums at $100,000 and/or
law suits can also be brought against the person responsible for a fire by
those seeking compensation for losses sustained. For public safety, a
Total Fire Ban is declared for days when fires are likely to escape and be
difficult to contain.
What are the Total Fire Ban rules
for each state?
some states such as Northern Territory, Western & South Australia there
is a Total Fire Ban over the summer fire period. By hitting the state
bush fire services icon below, you
will find information on that particular state & the rules or restrictions
that apply or during a declared Total Fire Ban day.