The way Fire Danger Ratings are determined and communicated is changing.

A new Fire Danger Rating System is being developed using the latest science to be more accurate and relevant, with the new system to be used across the country, so regardless of whether you’re at home or travelling, you will see the same system being used.

Community feedback was used in the design process to help make it easier to understand and to provide clearer advice about how to stay safe.

The new ratings have four levels - Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic - instead of the current six with which we are familiar, and will have recommended actions for each for protecting life, family and property, and will bring national consistency to the public display of ratings.

The science underpinning the existing Fire Danger Ratings has largely remained unchanged for over 50 years, and during that time, our understanding of fire and fire behaviour has changed.

In recent years, the vegetation across the entire country has been mapped, so instead of the current system using just bush and grass to determine the fire danger, the new system will use eight different types of vegetation, making it more accurate.

The new national system also uses extensive community research to deliver a simplified approach to communicating bushfire danger ratings.
The new Fire Danger Ratings

There are four levels of fire danger in the new system:
  • Moderate - Plan and prepare
  • High - Be ready to act
  • Extreme - Take action now to protect your life and property
  • Catastrophic - For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas
Fire Danger Ratings will be issued on days when there is a fire risk, with each level having a clear set of messages, including actions the community can take to reduce their risk.

The new Fire Danger Ratings will be used from September, with hundreds of local Fire Danger Rating signs across the state to be updated to reflect the new system, which will also be used by other outlets such as in the media, the CFA website, and the VicEmergency smartphone app.