Safe Camping During Bushfire Season

Written on
August 20, 2019
Safe Camping During Bushfire Season

After last Summer's tragic fire season we thought it would be a good idea to revisit fire safety early this year. 

Fire safety is something everyone should know, no matter your age or where you live, we cannot stress enough the importance of a 5 minute chat with your family to start your fire safety plan. Following basic guidelines and common sense when it comes to fires is essential to remaining calm. If you know what to do next, you can act fast and even save lives.  

 As Campers, it is essential that we understand the risk of bushfires and to be responsible when heading into our national parks during fire season. According to the CFA "The Fire Danger Period may be declared as early as October in some municipalities, and typically remains in place until the fire danger lessens, which could be as late as May". 

Travel safely during Fire Season. 

As it is popular to travel, camp and caravan during summer in Australia, there is a chance you may be affected by fire during your travels. We have done some research to find helpful tips on how to be fire ready on your next holiday. 


  1. Check risks before you leave
  2. Apps and contacts for fire safety and warnings. 
  3. Fire Danger ratings
  4. What to pack
  5. If in Danger
  6. Avoid unnecessary fire danger 
  7. Downloadable fire safety brochures

1.Check risks before you leave.

Before leaving home for a long drive or camping  during fire season, check the fire risks of the area you are entering. Being aware of the fire risk in the region you are travelling can ultimately save lives. If the fire risk rating is very high, then you should be considering an alternative location or wait till it is safer to travel. 

There are many ways to check specific fire regions. Each state has their own website and app with warnings and fire conditions that will give you the necessary advice before you leave your home. 

2.Apps and contacts for fire safety warnings: 

Plan your trip, know where you are going and check the fire warnings and Incidents websites. They will also include planned burning. 

Each state has a website, and there is also an app for all of Australia. 








Download the app: FiresNearMe Aus  

The FiresNearMe APP covers all fires in Australia and can detect your location to specify fires in your region. It lists the type of fire, status, location, and time of the last update. 

You can always call the Bushfire hotlines to confirm any warning.
Save these in your phone: 

If you have young children, it is a great idea to show them how to call triple Zero in case of an emergency. Write down your location and phone number onto something they can read and access easily. It's also good practice to show them what to do if caught in a fire such a using a fire blanket. Kids are very visual and will remember better if shown or have done the activity before. 

3.Fire Danger Ratings: 

It is essential to understand the fire danger ratings to know the situation for that region. Most, if not all, Australian towns will have a fire rating sign while entering the township, such as the image below. These are updated by the local fire brigade daily or as necessary, especially during fire season.  

Fire Danger Rating

Regardless of whether you think the fire conditions are low, it is best to check the appropriate sites for the fire region and also check the weather forecast sites such as (The Bureau of Meteorology).
We all know in Victoria how quickly the weather can change, and wind can turn a moderate situation into a severe one in seconds. Bush Fires are unpredictable, and it is paramount that you are aware, have mobile alerts set up and be fire safe when camping or travelling during fire season. 

4.What to Pack: 

It is best not to travel to remote areas on total fire ban days. Lack of reception/communication can be dangerous. Despite travelling in high-risk areas, you should always be fire ready by packing smart. 

Here's what you should include: 

  • Portable battery-operated radio
  • Waterproof torch
  • Spare batteries
  • First aid kit with First Aid manual
  • Candles
  • Waterproof matches
  • Woollen blankets or fire blankets
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Waterproof bag/ziplock bag for valuables
  • Mobile phone and charger ( there are now solar chargers you can buy or external batteries that connect to your phone for recharging) 
  • Combination pocket knife
  • Change of clothes for everyone
  • Drinking water (at least three litres per person per day)
  • If you are taking pets, make sure your pet is wearing an identification tag, take a leash & water bowl. 
  • Sturdy, Closed-toe shoes such as boots, hiking shoes. 
If in danger, pull over, turn the car off and turn your hazard lights on.


5.If in Danger: 

The most important thing to know is if you have any concerns about fire danger, stay home or leave early. Have a 5-minute chat with the family on the drive and have a fire plan in place, talk about hypotheticals and come up with solutions. In a fire situation, all plans may go out the window, but at least the more prepared you are the calmer you will feel. Keeping calm will help you make the right decisions, save your energy and help you breathe. 

If you see smoke, remain calm, leave the area immediately by driving away from the fire. Do NOT wait to see what happens. If visibility is affected by smoke, slow down and be aware of where the road is, be cautious of people, vehicles and livestock or wild animals that might be on the road. Turn your headlights on and have the car windows and vents closed. 

If you are stuck in a fire-affected area, call Triple Zero. 000.

Advice from the NSW Fire Service Advises to: 

  • Park off the road in a clear area away from trees, scrub and tall grass
  • Face the front of your car towards the fire
  • Stay in the vehicle below the windows to protect yourself from radiant heat
  • Turn off the engine and turn on headlights and hazard lights
  • Close windows and air vents
  • Cover yourself with a woollen blanket
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Cover your mouth with a damp cloth
  • Stay down until the sound of the fire has passed, carefully leave the car (it will be hot)


6.Avoid unnecessary fire danger: 

Take all fire warnings and ratings seriously. Be responsible with campsite fires and gas burners. There are no exceptions to the rules when it comes to fire regulations. 

To avoid unnecessary fire dangers, remember: 

  • Fewer vehicles in your campsite mean easier access for fire vehicles and quicker exits. 
  • Avoid parking or driving through tall grass, stay on made tracks. 
  • Use provided fire pits. Making your own from rocks, especially river rocks is not safe, they have been known to explode when exposed to extreme heat. 
  • Collecting firewood in most national parks is prohibited. Leave dead wood where it lies; this is important for the habitat. 
  • If fires are allowed, make sure you do not leave your fire unattended for any reason. If you are going to bed, make sure the fire is completely out with water or cover it with dirt (water is preferred). Move the coals and logs around with a stick to ensure that there are no underlying hot spots that could reignite.
  • Keep a shovel and water nearby; you can buy collapsible buckets from any camping store and keep your dishwater for the fire. 
  • Campfires should be small and have a clear space of at least 3 meters around the fire. 
  • Be aware of BBQ, coals and flames on windy days, leaf litter and debris can easily catch fire. 
  • Do NOT use campfires as rubbish incinerators, keep your fire clean and tidy, Plastics release gasses into the air and are very quick to ignite, glass bottles explode and leave dangerous pieces. 
  • Do NOT use sparklers or any fireworks. Always ensure cigarette butts are completely out by placing them in a cup of wet sand. 


Read more about fire safety here:

7.Printable Bushfire Safety Brochures

Fire safety for travellers Brochure

Caravan and camping bushfire brochure

What to pack in your Emergency Kit

The team at StoreMyCaravan hope you have a safe summer this year. Look-out for each other, camp safe and have fun!