New Fire Danger Rating System coming 1 September

Published on Wednesday, 3 August 2022 at 10:37:03 AM

Shire of Mundaring residents are advised that the current Fire Danger Rating system will be changing to a new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) backed up by a new Fire Behaviour Index (FBI) from 1 September 2022.

The change will see ratings decrease from six to four, and will be displayed in a uniform format on roadside signage across the nation.

Shire President James Martin said the current Fire Danger Rating System is largely based on science that is more than 60 years old.

“The AFDRS will use the latest science about weather, fuel and how fire behaves in different types of vegetation to improve the reliability of fire danger forecasts,” he said.

“The new fire danger rating system is designed to be continuously up-dateable so that the system can take advantage of and further improve science, data and information into the future.”

Each rating will have action-oriented messages to encourage people to take action to protect themselves and others in the face of bushfire risks.

The new ratings and action oriented messages 

Moderate: Plan and prepare
High: Be ready to act
Extreme: Take action now to protect life and property
Catastrophic: For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas.

There will also be no rating level for days where no action is required.

Cr Martin said new signage will replace the current ones that are displayed across the shire in the same locations.

“It is important for residents to understand that under the new Fire Danger Rating System, the new high rating will be equivalent to the current very high rating which will mean changes will be made in relation to days you can or cannot burn.

Total Fire Bans and Lake Leschenaultia

“Total Fire Bans will also be in place without the need for any formal declaration on days the rating is extreme and above.”

Residents should be advised that public access to Lake Leschenaultia is also assessed on a regular basis during the summer to align with Fire Danger Ratings.

On days when the rating is extreme, the lake will be closed to the public but remain open to campers. If the rating goes to catastrophic it will be closed to the public and campers.

Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans

The issuing of Harvest and Vehicle Movement Bans will remain the same until changes to legislation and a new grassland model and Fire Behaviour Index and Fire Danger Rating is determined.

The new ratings will also change how Fire Danger Ratings are referenced within the Bush Fires Act 1954, Bush Fires Regulations 1954 and Bush Fires (Infringements) Regulations 1978.

Fire Weather District

Along with the change to ratings, the Shire of Mundaring will now fall under a new fire weather district. The shire currently resides within the weather district of Lower West Inland.

However from 1 September, the shire will now be known as Swan Inland North. The new weather district starts from the Kalamunda/Mundaring border and extends north finishing between Regans Ford and Red Gully.

Find out more

To find out more about fire danger ratings and the changes please visit the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services page.

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