Fire weather services

Find out about Australian fire weather warnings, fire danger ratings and the fire behaviour index.

Our fire weather services

To help keep Australians safe, our fire weather services include:

  • fire weather warnings, when forecast conditions are likely to be dangerous
  • fire danger ratings, in consultation with fire agencies
  • fire danger products, such as detailed forecasts and outlooks for fire agencies and other organisations.

Total fire bans

Fire agencies in each state and territory are responsible for total fire bans. Check with your state or territory fire agency for any fire bans or other restrictions.

Fire weather warnings

We issue fire weather warnings:

  • based on fire weather districts
  • when forecast weather conditions are likely to be dangerous
  • early in the morning for the current day
  • in the afternoon for the following day.

We update warnings regularly and reissue them as needed.

Latest fire weather warnings

See Current warnings.

When fires are likely:

  • stay in touch with your state or territory fire agency and emergency services
  • tune into emergency broadcasters
  • keep up to date with the fire weather warnings by checking this website or getting fire weather notifications from our Weather app.

Fire danger ratings

Fire danger ratings indicate how difficult it will be to control or suppress a fire. The rating is set by state and territory fire agencies, based on weather and other conditions. This includes:

  • temperature
  • humidity
  • wind
  • fuel conditions.

Four levels of fire danger ratings communicate the level of bushfire risk – from moderate to catastrophic. 'No rating' may be shown when there is low risk, during the fire season.

Learn more about the Australian Fire Danger Rating System on the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) website.

Fire weather services Australian fire danger rating system scale

Australian fire danger rating scale

Fire danger ratings for your location

For the latest fire danger ratings:

Fire behaviour index

The fire behaviour index (FBI) is a scale of potential fire behaviour. It ranges from zero to 100-plus.

Fire agencies use the FBI to inform decisions about the fire danger rating for a district, along with information about other conditions.

Calculating the fire behaviour index

We use mathematical models to predict potential fire behaviour characteristics, based on weather and fuel information. For example, the models can predict:

  • fire intensity
  • flame height
  • rate of spread
  • spotting potential.

There are models for 8 vegetation types:

  • buttongrass
  • grassland
  • grassy woodland
  • forest
  • mallee heath
  • pine
  • shrubland
  • spinifex.

The models calculate the FBI number for a district based on predicted fire intensity or rate of spread. This informs the fire danger rating for that district.

Fire behaviour index links to fire danger ratings

Within the index, there are number ranges (categories). Each category aligns to a level of the fire danger rating scale. See 'FBI categories for fire danger ratings' on this page.

The FBI number for a district will be in one of these categories. This indicates the fire danger rating for that district.

It also means the fire danger rating reflects expected fire behaviour. This supports organisations making operational decisions about, for example:

  • fire preparedness, including community safety messages and advice
  • prescribed burning
  • bushfire suppression.

FBI categories for fire danger ratings

Index number range (category) Fire danger rating
0 to 11 No rating
12 to 23 Moderate
24 to 49 High
50 to 99 Extreme
100-plus Catastrophic

Service level specifications for fire weather

This document describes our publicly available fire weather services and the additional services we provide to support emergency management.

Fire weather service level specification – Word Doc, 3.5 MB

Need an accessible version of this document? Contact us about your needs.