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The Australian Fire Danger Rating has changed!

Monday, 19th December 2022

The Australian Fire Danger Rating has changed!

In Australia, formal fire danger ratings were first produced in the 1950’s and 1960’s by A. G. McArthur. The McArthur system was used for many decades and has undergone various modifications during its lifespan.

In 2022 it was replaced by the Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) marking a generational change to the way fire danger is calculated and communicated.

The AFDRS calculates, forecasts and reports fire danger using up-to-date fuel state data, spatial and satellite data, weather data, science and technology. It takes advantage of the many decades of research about how fire behaves, incorporating a wider range of fire behaviour models (eight as opposed to the two used by the McArthur system) to better represent the variety of Australian vegetation and fuel types.

The AFDRS is an example of national collaboration with emergency services agencies and the Commonwealth government working together on a truly collaborative project of national significance, that will bring benefits to Australians for generations to come.

Fire danger ratings are now simpler and give you clear actions to take.

Did you know:

  • This is the most significant change to fire danger ratings in 50 years - designed to make it clearer for you.
  • During that time we've learned a lot more about how fire behaves, and have mapped all of the vegetation across NSW.
  • The new fire danger ratings are used across Australia, meaning the same system is used whether you're at home or away.
  • The new system has been developed using extensive community research from people living in bush fire risk areas.
  • When there's minimal risk, like on days it's raining, you'll see 'No Rating' displayed on signs, apps and websites.
  • Learn more about the Australian Fire Danger Ratings here:

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