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Fire can threaten suddenly and without warning so you should always be ready to act. The CFS will provide as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision however you may not always receive an official warning directly.

However, if you are in a bushfire prone area it is important that you remain vigilant during the summer and do not rely on these messages as there is no guarantee you will receive one in time. A bushfire may impact upon you more quickly than CFS is able to respond.

The Police and Emergency Services are committed to providing timely and accurate information to the community during emergencies - including bushfires.

To achieve this, South Australia has adopted the National Framework for Advice and Warnings to the Community.  The new system has been developed to alert the community to bushfires and to provide advice on what to do when threatened by a bushfire.

The system is based on three types of alert messages, distributed by multiple means of communication:

  • EMERGENCY WARNING - You are in danger and you need to take action immediately. You will be impacted by fire. This message will usually be preceded by the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS)
  • WATCH & ACT - A fire is approaching you, conditions are changing; you need to take action now to protect your life and your family.
  • ADVICE - A fire has started - there is no immediate danger; general information to keep you up to date with developments.

Bushfire Watch & Act Messages will be issued when there is a potential threat to public safety in the immediate area of a bushfire.

Bushfire Emergency Warning Messages will be issued when a bushfire burning out of control under very high to catastrophic weather conditions requires an immediate response from the public to ensure their safety and survival. Bushfire Emergency Warning messages will be preceded by a distinctive siren-like sound of SEWS 

Bushfire Watch & Act and Bushfire Emergency Warning Messages will be issued via multiple media communication channels including local ABC AM and FIVEAA radio stations (make sure you have a battery powered radio).

Emergency Warning and Watch & Act Messages are likely to include the following information:

  • The location of the fire;
  • Where it is expected to move next;
  • The risks faced by people in the area;
  • What the public is advised to do about those risks;
  • Where the public can find additional information.

While the Police and Emergency Services will provide as much information as possible during a bushfire, it must be remembered that all people have a responsibility to ensure they are adequately prepared for bushfires and know what to do.  

You should take all of these messages seriously and consider the information carefully.

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