About CFS warnings and incidents

Timely and accurate advice and warnings are an important strategy in meeting the goals of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005.

Bushfire Advice Message Blue Bushfire Advice Flag

We will issue a Bushfire Advice Message for bushfires that may pose a threat to property or public safety or events where:

  • a bushfire has been reported and we are attending but no further information is available (Incident notification).
  • a bushfire is producing an undesirable effect (smoke) in an area that may cause concern to the public
  • the SACFS Regional Coordinator or State Coordinator wishes to advise the public of a specific event.

Bushfire Watch and Act Message Yellow Watch and Act Flag

We will regularly issue Bushfire Watch and Act Messages for bushfires that pose a localised threat to property or public safety where:

  • a bushfire is threatening or is a potential threat to public safety in the immediate area of the fire
  • a bushfire is producing an undesirable effect (smoke) in an area that may cause concern to the public on a day of elevated fire danger
  • the SACFS Regional Coordinator or State Coordinator wishes to advise the public of a specific event.

Bushfire Emergency Warning Message Red Emergency Warning Flag

Bushfire Emergency Warning Messages are the highest level of warning regarding a bushfire. They will be issued for wide area community impact when:

  • an uncontrolled bushfire is burning under Severe to Catastrophic Fire Weather conditions; and
  • the risk of loss of life or threat to properties is almost certain or has occurred; or
  • where special circumstances exist and a message is approved by the State Coordinator for example when a life or house has been lost.

Advice - Reduced Threat Blue Bushfire Advice Flag

We will issue a Reduced Threat Message when the threat to the community has reduced.

All bushfire incidents that have had an Advice, Watch and Act or Emergency Warning Message issued will be finalised with an Advice – Reduced Threat message.

Multiple Messages for Bushfires

We may issue multiple messages where a fire is impacting communities that need different calls to action.

Reasons for multiple messages include:

  • differences in the lay of the land
  • complexity of fire
  • assets and infrastructure under threat
  • differing fire direction
  • severity and behaviour on specific areas of the fire ground that are uncharacteristic to the rest of the fire ground
  • long protracted incidents.

Emergency Alert Messages

Emergency Alert is an additional tool providing information by text and voice messaging to landlines and mobile phones. It is used with Bushfire Emergency Warning Messages. Learn more about Emergency Alert.

Police and Emergency Services will provide as much information as possible during a bushfire. It is your responsibility to ensure you are adequately prepared for bushfires and know what to do.