Fire Danger Ratings

Australian Fire Danger RatingsIn the wake of the Black Saturday bushfires, Victoria adopted the nationally agreed Fire Danger Rating (FDR) scale to help communities understand information about fire danger. This new rating scale recognises the significant increase in severe bushfire conditions over the past decade and the subsequent greater level of danger to the community.

The new scale and the associated conditions described below are based on the Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI) and the Grassland Fire Danger Index (GFDI). The FFDI is the basis for determining the FDR and provides an assessment of the potential fire behaviour, the difficulty of suppressing a fire, and the potential impact on the community should a bushfire occur on a given day.

The FFDI was developed in the 1960s by CSIRO scientist A.G. McArthur to measure the degree of danger of fire in Australian forests. The index combines a record of dryness, based on rainfall and evaporation, with meteorological variables for wind speed, temperature and humidity. The GFDI is based on the FFDI approach and incorporates the degree of grassland curing (drying).

Code Red

FFDI = 100+ | GFDI = 150+

Code Red is known as Catastrophic in some states.


FFDI = 75 - 100 | GFDI = 100 - 150


FFDI = 50 - 75 | GFDI = 50 - 100

Low to Moderate / High / Very High

FFDI & GFDI = 0 - 12 (LM), 12 - 25 (H), 25 - 50 (VH)

More information » CFA Fire Danger Rating brochure (PDF 80 kb).

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