If you live on the edge of a city or town, you're at risk of grassfires.
Grassfires can be just as dangerous as bushfires. They can start and spread rapidly, travelling at speeds of up to 25 km per hour, quickly threatening properties.
Understanding grassfire risk on the edge of cities and towns
- Grassfires can start and spread quickly - they can travel up to 25 km per hour and pulse even faster over short distances.
- Grass is a fine fuel and burns faster than bush or forests.
- Grassfires tend to be less intense and produce fewer embers than bushfires, but still generate enormous amounts of radiant heat.
- The taller and drier the grass, the more intensely it will burn.
- The shorter the grass, the lower the flame height and the easier the fire will be to control.
- Short grass (under 10cm) is a much lower risk.
- Grassfires can start earlier in the day than bushfires because grass dries out more quickly when temperatures are high.
- Grassfires on the edge of cities and towns are unlikely to spread past fences and houses.
Reducing the risk to yourself and your home
If you live next to grassland on the edge of a city or town, you need to:
- Reduce the height and proximity of grass to your home and fenceline. For example, mow your lawn.
- Clear weeds, sticks, leaves and other fuel from around your property.
- Remove firewood and rubbish from around your home and fenceline.
What should you do if a grassfire starts near you?
If you live directly next to grassland: quickly move one to two streets away from the fire.
If you live close to but not right next to grassland: it's safer to stay where you are as grassfires are unliekly to spread past the first row of homes.
Don't try to get a closer look at the fire - you'll put yourselves and others in danger.
Avoid driving in a grassfire. It may be smoky and hard to see so traffic jams and accidents are likely, and the roads need to be kept free for the emergency services.