New Fire Danger Rating System Across Australia

Published on Friday, 2 September 2022 at 12:00:00 PM

The new and standardised Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) came into effect on 1 September 2022. It is important that all residents understand what this means for bushfire plans, and how it affects those who use fire.

What Has Changed?

The Number of Rating Classifications: The iconic ‘watermelon’ style indicator will be reduced from six ratings to four – MODERATE, HIGH, EXTREME and CATASTROPHIC. The system also has a ‘no rating’, used when there is no tangible fire risk.

Forecast District: Toodyay was previously part of the Lower West Inland District, but now falls within the Swan Inland North District.           

‘HIGH’ is the new ‘VERY HIGH’: Legislation dictates the burning/activities that may or may not be undertaken in certain conditions, with added restrictions formerly triggered at ‘VERY HIGH’. Under the AFDRS scale, all such restrictions will now commence at a Fire Danger Rating of ‘HIGH’. This is particularly applicable to permit holders during the Restricted Burning Period – all permits will only be valid on days of ‘no rating’ or ‘MODERATE’, and permits will automatically be void on days forecast as ‘HIGH’ or above.

What Hasn’t Changed?

The purpose of Total Fire Bans, Harvest Vehicle Movement and Hot Works Bans, and the methods of how these are communicated are unaffected by the new AFDRS.

The new fire danger rating can be found online at and here on The Shire also operates an electronic Fire Danger sign on the corner of Stirling Terrace and Hamersley Street, which is currently awaiting an update via a Federally Funded Project. 

For more information about the AFDRS, visit the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services website

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