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A Guide to Australian Bushfire Safety for Caravanners

Bushfire safety caravan

It’s possible Australia is in for a bad bushfire season in 2023. The Bureau of Meteorology has officially declared the arrival of the El Niño weather pattern, which is linked to hot and dry weather conditions;1 and as of November 2023, parts of Queensland and New South Wales have already experienced emergency-level blazes.2 For campers and caravanners, bushfire safety is likely going to be among the list of holiday considerations. 

“Almost the entire country can expect drier and warmer conditions than normal this spring,” says National Council for Fire and Emergency Services CEO, Rob Webb.3 “So it’s important for Australians to be alert to local risks of bushfire over the coming months, regardless of their location.” 

You may already be familiar with bushfire safety information in your own area, but what if you’re camping or caravanning interstate or somewhere remote? Will you receive alerts from emergency services? Do you know the frequency of the local ABC radio station? 

We’ve pulled together some information and tools to help campers and caravanners that are looking to stay safe on the road this season – including some caravan fire safety advice, fire danger ratings and bushfire alerts for each state and territory.  

Bushfire alerts and information 

From staying tuned to emergency broadcasters such as the ABC to signing up for alerts and warnings, there are different ways travellers are able to access bushfire information. 

“When on the road, travellers should listen for alerts and warnings,” says a spokesperson for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES). “Stay tuned to local radio stations for weather and emergency updates in the area, as well as the local fire and emergency services’ Facebook and Twitter pages.”   

Bushfire safety information by state and territory 

If you’re a caravanning regular, you might already read up on local fire risk and bushfire activity at your destination before you begin your travels. There are many handy resources that can help keep you informed, and we’ve gathered some of them below.  

The ABC Emergency page lets you enter any Australian postcode and find nearby active incidents.4 

The Western Australia Government’s MyFireWatch page shows current bushfire activity in each state and territory, and includes links to local sources of information.5 

In the event of a bushfire, you may receive a mobile warning from Emergency Alert – so, if a caller ID or message header on your phone displays the number ‘+61 444 444 444’, don’t ignore it.6 This is the national telephone warning system used by emergency services to send voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones within a set area about potential emergencies. As there are reasons why messages may not be received, you shouldn’t wait for an alert before you act.  

You can also download the Emergency+ app, which uses GPS functionality built into smartphones to help emergency services access critical location details.7 

Australian states and territories also have their own resources dedicated to bushfire alerts and information. Before you head to a caravan park or campsite, you might like to download or bookmark local resources relevant to where you’re travelling. 

Australian Capital Territory 

Visitors to the Australian Capital Territory can keep an eye on the ACT Emergency Services Agency map8 – and the associated Facebook page9 – for information on local bushfire alerts. 

New South Wales 

In NSW, the Hazards Near Me app can alert you to nearby emergencies, such as bushfires.10 You can also check the NSW Rural Fire Service Facebook page for updates.11  

Northern Territory 

Travelling to the Northern Territory? You might like to check out the Bushfire NT alerts page, which includes a Fire Incident map, before and during your trip.12 You can also use the SecureNT Facebook page for information on incidents.13 


The Queensland Government’s Current bushfire warnings and incidents page displays current bushfire activity and safety information,14 and the QFES Facebook page regularly posts warnings and updates for the state.15  

South Australia 

South Australia’s Alert SA app has been designed to provide timely and relevant bushfire information to communities across the state,16 and the SA State Emergency Service Facebook page provides another source of information.17 


Visitors to Tasmania might like to check the TasALERT map for current bushfire information,18 and the TasALERT Facebook page regularly posts updates.19 


The Victorian Government’s VicEmergency bushfire map lists fires burning in the state,20 plus the VicEmergency app21 and Facebook22 page both offer information on local incidents. 

Western Australia 

If you’re caravanning in WA, you can refer to the Emergency WA map23 as well as the Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA Facebook24 page for bushfire alerts and information.

Caravan fire safety checklist 

Before you set off, you may well choose to get your caravan bushfire-ready. The Queensland Government ​recommends installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as having a fire extinguisher positioned near the door inside the caravan.25 They also suggest stocking an emergency kit with items your family might use if cut off from supplies.26 The kit should be kept in a strong, waterproof container, and might include: 

  • Long-life food and toiletries in case you can’t get to the shops
  • Drinking water in case the water supply stops working
  • Batteries, a torch and a radio in case the power goes out.26

“Drivers should turn off all gas cylinders while a caravan is being towed or the mobile home engine is on,” says a QFES spokesperson. “Keep gas cylinders outside unless a properly designed storage cupboard has been fitted; turn off all appliances not being used before going to bed; and check all gas cylinders, pipes and fittings regularly.” 

Understanding fire danger ratings 

You’ve likely seen the signs at the side of the road, but do you know what the fire danger ratings really mean?  
Fire danger ratings identify the potential level of danger if a bushfire starts in that area. In 2022, the fire danger ratings system was updated to introduce more consistency across Australia.27 There are now four levels of risk identified:  

MODERATE: Plan and prepare 
HIGH: Be ready to act 
EXTREME: Take action now to protect life and property
CATASTROPHIC: For your survival, leave bushfire risk areas27 

The Country Fire Authority of Victoria advises never travelling into any high-risk bushfire areas where Catastrophic fire danger has been declared, and if you’re already there, leaving the night before or early in the day on which it’s declared.28 

Check your caravan insurance 

Before you hit the open road in your caravan this summer, you might want to check that your caravan insurance is up to date for your current needs and circumstances. If not, you can always contact us for more information or to discuss updating your policy.



1 Source: ABC News – Summer of severe heat predicted as Bureau of Meteorology declares El Niño, 2023 
2 Source: ABC News – Bushfire threat across NSW and Queensland eases as blazes burn near towns of Tenterfield, Wallangarra and Tara, 2023 
3 Source: National Council for Fire and Emergency Services – Seasonal Bushfire Outlook Spring 2023
4 Source: ABC Emergency – Find an incident 
5 Source: WA Government – Fire Incidents & Warnings 
6 Source: Emergency Alert – Emergency Alert 
7 Source: Emergency Plus – Emergency Plus 
8 Source: ACT Government – Incident Updates 
9 Source: Facebook – ACT Emergency Services Agency 
10 Source: NSW Government – Hazards Near Me app 
11 Source: Facebook – NSW Rural Fire Service  
12 Source: NT Government – Bushfire NT alerts 
13 Source: Facebook – SecureNT 
14 Source: Qld Government – Current bushfire warnings and incidents 
15 Source: Facebook – Queensland Fire and Emergency Services – QFES 
16 Source: SA Government – Alert SA 
17 Source: Facebook – SA State Emergency Service 
18 Source: Tas Government – TasALERT 
19 Source: Facebook – TasALERT 
20 Source: Vic Government – VicEmergency 
21 Source: Vic Government – VicEmergency App 
22 Source: Facebook – VicEmergency 
23 Source: WA Government – Emergency WA 
24 Source: Facebook – Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA 
25 Source: Qld Government – Caravans 
26 Source: Qld Government – Check out what you need 
27 Source: NSW Rural Fire Service – New fire danger rating system to keep communities safe this bush fire season, 2022
28 Source: Vic Government – Staying safe when you travel