For information about the current status of bushfires in regional Victoria, please refer to our Victoria bushfire updates 2020 page.
If you're travelling around Victoria this summer, there are a few things you need to do before you leave and while you are away.
Before you leave
- Download the VicEmergency app (iOS, Android), bookmark emergency.vic.gov.au, and save the VicEmergency Hotline 1800 226 226 – into your mobile phone.
- Make sure your mobile phone has a fully charged battery.
- Check the Fire Danger Rating for your destination on the Emergency Victoria website as you may not have phone reception across regional Victoria.
While you're away
- Listen to local radio for warnings and advice while you're on the road. The Emergency Victoria website has a full list of emergency broadcasters.
- Stay informed by visiting the Emergency Victoria website, checking the VicEmergency app, calling the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226, following VicEmergency on Twitter (@vicemergency) and Facebook, talking to locals, visiting an accredited visitor information centre or by listening to an emergency broadcaster.
- Check if a Total Fire Ban has been declared for the area you are visiting. On a Total Fire Ban day, campfires are not allowed. Only gas and electric barbecues are allowed if you follow the regulations. For more information about Total Fire Bans, visit the CFA website.
- On Severe or Extreme Fire Danger Rating days, it's safer to travel to cities and towns. Never travel into a high-risk bushfire area where a Code Red Fire Danger Rating has been forecast.
- Be aware of grassfires when you’re travelling. Grassfire can move at speeds of up to 25 km/hr and jump highways.
What are Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans?
Fire Danger Ratings tell you how dangerous a fire would be if it started. A Total Fire Ban sets legal restrictions on activities that may start a fire, including restrictions on barbecues and campfires. Check what you can and can't do on a Total Fire Ban day on the CFA website.
Hiking and camping
Bushfire safety tips for hikers and campers, and park and forest closure information, are available on the Parks Victoria website.
Burning off on public land
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and partner agencies conduct planned burns on public land. This aims to protect communities and infrastructure from the risk of bushfire, and can also benefit local ecology. Controlled burns are mostly in autumn, when the weather and fuel conditions are best for this work. Burns may also take place in spring.
Smoke from planned burns is often noticeable and can cause anxiety. If you are concerned about smoke or fire on public land, please call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or visit the Planned Burns Victoria website to confirm the locations of planned burns.
How can I help?
If you'd like to help communities and wildlife in Victoria's fire-affected areas, there are some simple ways you can make a difference to those in need.
- Donate to the official Victorian Bushfire Appeal at vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal
- Donate to Wildlife Victoria's appeal at wildlifevictoria.org.au
- Donate to Zoos Victoria's Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund via zoo.org.au/fire-fund
- Donate by bank transfer to the Country Fire Authority Public Fund. Details at cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa