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Total Fire Bans and the importance of Fire Danger Ratings for you and your community

15 February 2017

During Victoria’s bushfire season, it is essential that you understand the meaning and importance of Fire Danger Ratings (FDRs) and Total Fire Bans (TFBs) for the safety of you, your family and your community.

Both Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans are predominantly determined by weather, however they exist for very different reasons.

Fire Danger Ratings tell you how dangerous a fire would be if one started and how hard it would be to put out – the higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions. Ratings are forecast using Bureau of Meteorology data for up to four days in advance, based on weather and other environmental conditions such as fuel load and wind forecasts.

Each rating has corresponding actions that people should take depending on the predicted Fire Danger. The Fire Danger Ratings are the community indicators for what you need to do and what you need to look out for to ensure you stay safe during these periods.

Total Fire Bans set the legal restrictions on what activities can or cannot occur in a particular district on that day. In this way, it’s a precautionary tool to prevent fire on a high-risk day, rather than a risk-based measure. Total Fire Bans can be declared per region or state-wide, and you must obtain a permit for any high-risk activity during these days.

Head to CFA website to find out what each Fire Danger Rating means and what you can and can't do on days of Total Fire Ban.