Bushfires in Australia








Camping grounds AustraliaSurviving a Bushfire When Out&About

I am definitely not an expert in this area.

But, I can provide you with some selected useful links to official websites that outline what to do to give yourself (and your family and others) a better chance of survival in the path of a bushfire when camping and travelling.


Useful Bushfire Resources

Victoria’s Country Fire Authority – https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/staying-safe-in-the-car

South Australia’s Country Fire Service – https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/prepare_for_a_fire/surviving_a_bushfire.jsp

New South Wales’ Rural Fire Service – https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/travelling-in-a-bush-fire-area

Queensland’s Rural Fire Service – https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/BushFire_Safety/Documents/PAS-TravellersGuide.pdf (with the exception that they say to keep the engine running)

Western Australia’s Department of Fire & Emergency Services – https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/BushfireManualsandGuides/DFES_Bushfire_Travellers_Checklist.pdf


Making sense of bushfire safety

So, my big takeaways from these resources are:

  • Avoid travelling and camping in bushfire season or in areas at high risk;
  • Keep an eye on fire alerts and the area around you;
  • Know your escape route and have an alternative;
  • Make escape your priority;
  • Carry water, woollen blankets and first aid in the car;
  • Make sure you have room to take sanctuary in the car;
  • Find an open space; and
  • Face the car into the oncoming fire.





Situational Awareness of Bushfire Risks

Having put some thought into this for my future trips, and looking at camping and travel habits in Australia generally, I think that it is somewhat fair to put a bit of a real-world perspective on our habits. Namely, we are:

  • increasingly looking for that remote getaway;
  • escaping on an afternoon after work and arriving at our destination in the evening / night;
  • driving off-road vehicles with off-road campers and tents;
  • erecting mega-camp structures with pop-up showers and toilets, annexes, awnings, gazebos and swags;
  • have a heavy reliance on mobile devices and the internet – which may not have service in these areas; and
  • increasingly taking our kids (and all their toys) with us to experience the world like the old days.

With all this in mind, we need to have situational awareness and know where we are, what’s around us, the ways to get out and when. We also need to tell people where we’re going – like it or not.

As a firefighter in Stanthorpe recently told me, if you see smoke approaching there is a strong chance that the fire will be ahead of it and coming your way.


If you smell smoke or see flames it could be a  bushfire

Be prepared to piss-bolt (get out quickly) out of there! This may mean just getting in the car and driving – NOT packing up the camper, NOT pulling down the annex and folding up the tarp, NOT hooking up the camper / caravan. It may even mean rippling that awning off the side of the car or even driving off with it flapping behind you. All that stuff can all be replaced.

Camp in Queensland with out&about dayv

Previous articleFox on the Run
Next articleThe Australian Mosquito