Am I at risk?
Share | Print

Am I at risk?

Victoria is one of the most fire-prone areas in the world. Understanding your level of risk is the first step in knowing what to do before and during a fire.

Have a look at the different types of fire risk environments below and see which one you live in. By recognising and understanding your risk environment this will also help you to start preparing your property for fire. 

Close to or among grass or paddocks

Grassfires can be extremely dangerous - people can die in grassfires.

What can you expect?
  • Dry and brown grass that easily catches fire.
  • Grass more than 10 centimetres tall will have a higher
    flame height and intensity.
  • Faster burning than through forests as grass is a finer fuel.
  • Large amounts of radiant heat.
  • Fires that can start early in the day.
  • Faster moving fires that travel up to 25 km per hour.
    In open grassland speed increases up to 60 km per hour.

Close to or among forest and woodlands

Risk is most extreme if you live surrounded by or near forest that is difficult to see through. However, all forest or woodland presents a bushfire risk.

What can you expect?
  • Very hot fire and many embers.
  • Embers such as twigs, bark and debris arriving from far away.
  • Dangerous levels of radiant heat and fire intensity.
  • Trees falling in high winds.
  • Embers landing for a long time after the fire has passed.
  • Fine fuels (the thickness of a pencil or less) that burn
    very quickly.
  • Heavy fuels that will burn very hot for long periods of time.
  • A reduction in visibility due to very thick smoke.

Near coastal scrub

Burning scrub, heath or other coastal vegetation can create hot, dangerous bushfires. If you live by, work by or travel to the coast you are at risk. Beaches, foreshores and shallow waters may not be safe or protect you from radiant heat. Often a fire will be burning between you and the beach.

What can you expect?
  • Very hot and fast-moving fires.
  • Gusty ocean winds causing fire to behave erratically.
  • A lot of embers.
  • Fire reaching houses quickly.
  • Busy, congested coastal roads.

Where suburbs meet the bush or grasslands

You do not have to live in the bush to be at risk of bushfire.
Suburban homes can burn down in bushfire, too.

What can you expect?
  • Scrub, forest and grass catching fire.
  • A fire in a park or reserve quickly spreading to timber
    fences and gardens.
  • Fire spreading from house to house once houses start
    to burn.
  • A high risk of ember attack if the house is near dense
    bushland environments.
  • Embers falling close to or on your house starting a new fire.
  • Strong winds that bring embers from far away.
Back to top