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.
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
So, my big takeaways from these resources are:
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:
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.
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.