Travelling During the Bushfire Season

Published: Monday, 23 December 2019 at 3:15:40 PM

Over this holiday period if you are travelling or staying near bushland, fire is a real risk to you and your family.

Travelling in an area affected by bushfire is very dangerous and should be avoided. Leaving before a fire threatens the area is the safest option.

  1. Know the current Fire Danger Rating or Total Fire Ban for the area you are travelling to.
    The Fire Danger Rating (FDR) gives you advice about the level of bushfire threat on a particular day. When the rating is high, the threat of a bushfire increases.Find out if there is a Total Fire Ban (TFB) for the area you are travelling to. A Total Fire Ban is declared on days of extreme weather or when widespread fires are seriously stretching firefighter resources. During a TFB, it is illegal to light a fire in open air or undertake any other activities that may start a fire. Many local governments do not allow campfires during restricted and prohibited burning times, so it is best to check with the Local Government and the local Parks and Wildlife Office regarding local rules for the area you are visiting.
    For more information about FDR’s and TFB’s visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au or call the TFB Hotline on 1800 709 355.
  1. Be prepared to change your travel plans at short notice if there is increased fire weather or if a fire should start.
    Fires can come from any direction and travel routes can quickly become blocked. You should always be aware of your surroundings and look for signs of a bushfire, such as seeing or smelling smoke. Road information may also be available from Main Roads WA by calling 138 138 or visiting mainroads.wa.gov.au

  2. Pack your emergency kit. When travelling your kit should include.
    • Map of the areas you are travelling to
    • Portable battery operated radio with spare batteries
    • First aid kit and medication
    • Woollen blankets
    • Adequate amount of water
    • Mobile phone and charger
    • Protective clothing (Long-sleeved cotton tops, pants, hats and sturdy shoes)

  3. Know what to do if you encounter a bushfire while driving.
    If you see smoke or flames, leave the area immediately by driving away from the fire. Do not wait and see. If you become trapped by a fire sheltering inside a vehicle is a very high risk strategy that offers only a slightly higher chance of survival than being caught in the open. It is highly unlikely that a person will survive in all but the mildest circumstances.

  4. Know where to get the latest bushfire information. In a major emergency, when lives and property are at risk, broadcasts will be issued on local ABC radio at a quarter to and a quarter past the hour. Check the frequency in the area that you are travelling at http://reception.abc.net.au/  Bushfire emergency information is available from emergency.wa.gov.au, 13 DFES (13 3337) or NATIONAL RELAY SERVICE ON 1800 555 677 if you are hearing impaired. Your surroundings might be your best source of information, check for smoke or signs of fire in the area. To report a fire, or in an emergency situation, call triple zero (000)

 For more information on travelling during the bushfire season visit the DFES website: www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/Pages/travelinformation.aspx

 Wishing you all safe travels, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

SOURCE: Department of Fire and Emergency Services

 

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