Bans & rating FAQs
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Bans & rating FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions about Total Fire Bans and Fire Danger Ratings.

How are Total Fire Bans declared?

Total Fire Bans are declared by district - there are now 9 Total Fire Ban districts across the State of Victoria. A Total Fire Ban can also be declared for the whole state of Victoria.

Each day during the fire danger period, the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts the expected Fire Danger Index for each district considering a range of factors including:

  • Temperature
  • Relative humidity
  • Wind speed
  • Dryness of vegetation and soil (recent rainfall).

Each rating has corresponding actions that people should take depending on the predicted Fire Danger. Find out more about Fire Danger Ratings.

How do Total Fire Bans and Fire Danger Ratings differ?

Although Total Fire Bans and Fire Danger Ratings are predominantly both determined by weather, they exist for different reasons.

Total Fire Bans

A Total Fire Ban sets legal restrictions on what activities can or can not occur in a particular district for that day. It aims to reduce the activities that may start a fire.

Fire Danger Ratings

Fire Danger Ratings predict fire behaviour should a fire start, and how hard it will be to put out. Find out more about Fire Danger Ratings.

Alignment of Districts

The Total Fire Ban and Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast districts were aligned before the 2010 fire danger period. They now have the same names and boundaries. It is important for people to understand what Total Fire Ban and weather district they are in.

Why are Total Fire Bans only declared the evening before, but Fire Danger Rating forecasts are provided four days ahead?

Fire Danger Ratings are based on the weather forecast for each of the nine Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast districts. The Bureau of Meteorology provides a weather forecast (and related Fire Danger Ratings) up to four days. Providing this information in advance enables people to prepare for any significant forecast of fire weather.

View the Total Fire Bans & Fire Danger Ratings forecast

Weather forecasts, however, can change from day to day, and as a result, so can the forecast Fire Danger Ratings. As Total Fire Bans provide a set of legal restrictions on what activities can or cannot occur in a particular district for that day, they are usually not declared until the afternoon before to ensure they are based on the most accurate weather forecast.

What will the Total Fire Bans & Fire Danger Ratings map look like during the fire danger period?

The Total Fire Bans & Fire Danger Ratings map is divided into the 9 fire districts as detailed above. Each fire district on the map will display:

  • A Total Fire Ban symbol on top of a district only when the district is declared a Total Fire Ban
  • The Fire Danger Rating colour based on the Bureau of Meteorology forecast
  • A clickable district label which takes you to the 'Fire Districts' page - on this page you can see the list of all muncipalities for that district

The map will also feature a clickable Fire Danger Rating scale - when a rating is selected a window will appear detailing what the selected rating means and what you should do for that rating.

Map of total fire ban declaration

This image is an example of the Total Fire Ban and Fire Danger Ratings map with:

  • A Total Fire Ban symbol displayed on top of the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country and North Central districts to indicate a Total Fire Ban declaration for those districts
  • Each fire district is coloured with the Fire Danger Rating based on the Bureau of Meteorology forecast
  • Fire Danger Ratings scale
  • District labels

Map of no total fire ban declaration

This image is an example of the Total Fire Ban and Fire Danger Ratings map with:

  • No Total Fire Ban symbol displayed for any district
  • Each fire district is coloured with the Fire Danger Rating based on the Bureau of Meteorology forecast
  • Fire Danger Ratings scale
  • District labels.

General Advice on a Day of Total Fire Ban

Refer to 'Can I Can't I' for information on what you can and can't do on days of Total Fire Ban.

Further Information:

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