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Location in relation to caller Location of Fire
Leaving Local Government Fire Prevention Officers
Legislation Levels of Incidents
Livestock Last Resort Refuges (bushfire)


Use Google Maps to determine the callers location versus the incident.


Question: I hear sirens or have heard of a fire in my area, what can you tell me?

Question: I see flames / smoke in my area, what can you tell me?

Question: There is a fire near my house, a tree has fallen over the power lines, what should I do?

Refer to CFS Fact Sheet On the Day of a Bushfire.

Check the State Incident Summary and Bushfire Information Messages for any fires in the area of the caller. If there is information in State Incident Summary that relates to the caller's locality please use the information in the Bushfire Message issued for that fire.
If there is no information in the State Incident Summary that relates to the caller's locality advise them to continue to listen to the radio for news or incident updates.

If the caller sees flames they need to be reminded of the general safety messages, which are:

  • As the front of the fire approaches it will become unsafe to be either on foot or in a car as the heat radiating from the fire will be intense.
  • Residents should avoid being exposed to radiant heat at all costs, and should make use of structures like their homes to shelter as the fire front passes.
  • It is important that all residents protect themselves from radiant heat by wearing the right clothing.
    Residents should wear clothing made from natural fibre cotton, wool or leather items ensuring to wear a long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy boots and a broad rimmed hat, leather gloves and a tea towel or dusk mask to assist with breathing. On no account should synthetic material be worn.
  • After the fire front has passed, residents should immediately begin to patrol their house looking for embers or areas that are burning and extinguish them as best they can.
  • Emphasise that they can listen for updates on the fire situation on the ABC radio (891), 5AA (1395) or local ABC radio station. Note in country areas the local ABC radio band will not be 891.
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Question: How will I know when I should be leaving?

It may be appropriate to leave the area on any day on which the bushfire danger is Severe: eg. a day that is declared a Total Fire Ban may be a trigger to relocate early in the morning well before a fire starts. If you decide to wait until a bushfire threatens, keep a regular lookout and listen to Local ABC radio or 5AA 1395 for regular updates  (Consider battery powered). This will ensure that you leave well in advance of the fire front.


Leaving in smoky conditions is too late.
Do not drive or flee through smoke.

Refer to CFS factsheet planning to leave early.


Question: I want to speak to my District Fire Prevention Officer (FPO)

Let the caller know that they can be contacted through their local Council Office. Please provide the number if you have the time to access the number for the caller.


CFS, MFS, SES and SAFECOM operates under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005. All emergency services operate under the Emergency Management Act 2004.

Copies are available via the Legislation section of the Attorney-General's website

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Level 1 Incident

A Level 1 incident is an incident that is able to be resolved through the use of local or initial response resources. It is a simple and small incident.  There is minimal threat and impact to the general community.

Level 2 Incident

Level 2 incidents are more complex either in size, resources or risk than a Level 1 incident. There may be a local threat and impact to the community at a local or perhaps at a regional level.

Level 3 Incident

Level 3 incidents are characterised by degrees of complexity that may require the establishment of divisions for effective management of the situation. There may be multiple 12-hour shifts.  There will generally be a significant threat or impact to the community at a local, Regional or State level.

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Question: How do I protect my livestock on a high fire danger day?

Question: Should I go home and move my horses / stock to a safe area?

Question: I have pets, what should I do with them?

Refer to CFS Factsheet Care of pets and livestock

Refer to the PIRSA Livestock and Pet Owners Urged to Prepare for Heat

On high fire danger days, large animals such as horses and goats are best placed in a paddock that has been well grazed.

Horses should not be locked up in small areas or stables, but moved to an open paddock with little vegetation so they can move freely. Try to ensure that the animals have access to water e.g. a dam.

Horses are good at moving themselves to safe open areas and suffer minimal burns if left to do so. However, ensure that animals are not free to roam on roads as they may cause accidents or be injured.

All equipment including rugs, halters and fly veils should be removed from horses, as the plastic may melt and buckles may burn the animal.

One of the key factors in minimising risk to stock is to identify the safest areas on the property. On days of extreme fire risk stock should be moved to lower risk areas. You should also listen to weather forecasts and observe your own environment to help you decide when to put your plan into action.

Safe areas include paddocks with green summer crops, bare paddocks with no dry feed, or a ploughed paddock. Firebreaks are imperative.  They may be a bare laneway or a ploughed break.

Note: Remind caller that their life is a priority and the above actions should only occur when it is safe to do so. Remind callers that they should not expose themselves to radiant heat or excessive smoke.

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Question: I have heard that there is a flood in my area, I have domestic pets - what should I do with them?

It is important to take your pet with you, however if you are going to a relief shelter not all of them allow pets, so it is important to have an alternative plan. If pets are likely to be at risk, every effort should be made to take them to a safer area in advance. This might be with relatives, friends, animal boarding facilities or temporary animal shelter or evacuation centre which accepts animals.

If you cannot take your pet with you or arrange evacuation to a safer place, leave your pet in a safe, secure room without windows, but with adequate air (like a big bathroom). Leave enough food and water for three days. Put water in containers that are not easily knocked over. Leave their favourite bed and toys. Don't confine dogs and cats in the same space. Put a notice on your front door saying where your pets are in the house and a mobile number for yourself or someone who can help or contact you.

Never leave your pet tied up outside your house.

For missing animals, check with pounds, shelters, animal control authorities and boarding facilities. Take a recent photo of your pets to help identify them.

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CFS has developed a hierarchy of places that can offer relative safety from bushfire. They are broken into three categories, and are called Bushfire Safer Settlements, Bushfire Safer Precincts and Last Resort Refuges. It is important that you know what each of these are, where they are, and what risk you may be exposed to if you use one of these options during a bushfire.

Refer to CFS website.

Hierarchy of Bushfire Safer Places in SA


BSP Arrow down gif



Inner Adelaide Metropolitan area Suitable for use during forecast bad fire weather or during bushfire.


Outer suburbs and rural settlements. Suitable for use during forecast bad fire weather or during bushfire. May be subject to spark and ember attack and smoke.


Ovals, buildings in rural areas. Not suitable for extended use and may provide only limited protection during bushfire.
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