Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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New national fire rating system backed by new fire behaviour models and fire danger calculator


Issued: 12:30pm AEST on Thursday 1 September 2022

The Bureau of Meteorology is proud to have played an important role in the development and delivery of the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) being launched today by the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services (AFAC).

This new nationally consistent rating system better describes the overall fire danger risk at a finer geographic scale. It improves the reliability of fire danger forecasts by using the latest scientific understanding about weather, fuel and how fire behaviour behaves in different types of vegetation.

The Bureau developed new fire behaviour models and a new fire danger calculator that now includes eight major fuel types in the models:

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

Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson, Nina Bowbridge, National Manager, Hazard Preparedness and Response, said under the new system, the Bureau will provide a whole new suite of products and tools for fire agencies and the community to inform better decision making, including multi-week and seasonal forecast weather outlook service.

"These changes will drive improvement in our current fire weather services, including our Incident Weather Forecasts and warnings, that inform crucial decision making by emergency service agencies and the wider community during bushfire events," Ms Bowbridge said.

The Bureau has been working closely with its emergency service partners, AFAC, and the Commonwealth Government to develop the AFDRS, including completing a successful trial service in late 2021, completing internal training and developing the products in preparation for the September 2022 launch.

"Communities can keep up to date with fire weather warnings on the Bureau's website and through their relevant state or territory emergency service website. The information will soon also be available on the BOM Weather app, under the forecast description in both text and as a visual marker," Ms Bowbridge said.

Fire danger rating forecasts are found on the Bureau’s website.

More information about the AFDRS is available at AFAC | Australian Fire Danger Rating System.