Driving In & Around Bushfires

Driving In the Australian Summer

The summer holiday road trip is a great Australian tradition. Getting out and exploring this country by road is one of the best ways to learn about the amazing diversity we have. This also means that you are often in areas that you dont know well, and in summer, unfortunately this can place you in danger from bushfires.

Bushfire Safety Tips

If your trip takes you into wooded areas on hot days, there are a number of things you can do to keep your family safe...

  • Have a good map of the area you are travelling in, preferably one that marks the road surface type
  • Read the signs - country towns and National Parks often have fire danger indicators at the entry points
  • Check with local information centres or websites such as www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or local Police to see if there are any restrictions or areas to avoid before you explore off the beaten track
  • Keep an eye on mobile phone coverage
  • Follow any advice given by emergency services personnel
  • Be aware of your surroundings - if you see or smell smoke, take appropriate action
  • Make sure you have plenty of water and a first aid kit in the car
  • Have a well maintained, reliable vehicle
  • Most of all, if you are not sure, dont risk it!

What To Do If You Are Caught In A Fire

In the unlikely event that you are caught in a bushfire situation with no options to move, follow the advice below...

  • Park in the clearest area you can find, wind up all windows, cover yourself with rugs, jackets, etc. and tuck yourself under the dashboard.
  • If surrounded by fire, park car in the barest area possible - away from tall grass and shrubs
  • If possible, park the vehicle with the rear facing the oncoming fire
  • Close all windows and vents tightly
  • Shelter on the floor of the car and cover yourself with blankets or floor mats
  • Only emerge from the vehicle when you are sure that you are upwind of the blaze
  • Only move out of the area once all smoke has cleared