(Video courtesy of Vic Emergency Website)


Spot Fires

The term spot fire describes a fire ignited outside of a burning unit as a result of a windborne ember (sometimes referred to as a firebrand).
  • Spot fires can start new bushfires well ahead of the main fire front.
  • In large fires, there’s the potential for many spot fires to start and quickly join together, blocking a safe escape.
  • There’s no questioning the facts, your garden hose is no match for spot fires so leaving a high fire-risk area early is always the safest option.

(Video courtesy of Vic Emergency Website)

Radiant Heat

Radiant heat is the heat you feel from a fire. It is the biggest killer in a fire. The best protection is distance.

Protection from radiant heat

  • Make sure all skin is covered.
  • Do not wear shorts, t-shirt and thongs.
  • Cover up as soon as you are aware of a fire in your area.
  • A solid object, such as a brick wall, can provide some protection from radiant heat.
  • Distance is the best protection from radiant heat. Move as far away from the fire as you can, don’t get caught out in the open.
  • During a bushfire, the atmosphere will literally feel like hell on earth.
  • Flame temperatures can reach up to 11000C and radiant heat fluxes high enough to vaporise vegetation, only adding speed to the scorching hot flames.
  • There’s no questioning the facts, if you are stuck in a bushfire, your chances of survival are slim. Leaving early is always the safest option.


(Video courtesy of Vic Emergency Website)


Clothes to Wear:

  • a long-sleeved, collared shirt made from cotton or wool
  • pants made from cotton or some other natural fibre
  • sturdy boots and woollen socks
  • tough leather garden gloves – not rubber or synthetic
  • a wide-brimmed hat to protect your head
  • a face mask (P2 type) or towel to cover your mouth and nose
  • eye protection such as smoke goggles to shield your eyes.

Protective clothing and a solid shield may NOT save your life.


If you’re in a car

Do not travel on roads when there is a fire in your area.  Late evacuation is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injury or death – always plan to leave early to avoid this situation.  If you encounter smoke or flames and are not able to turn around and drive to safety, as a last resort:
1. Position the car to minimise exposure to radiant heat:
  • Park away from dense bush – try to find a clearing
  • If possible, park behind a barrier such as a wall or rocky outcrop
  • The car should ideally face towards the oncoming fire front
  • Park off the roadway and turn hazard lights on. Car crashes are common in bushfires due to poor visibility.
2. To increase your chances of survival:
  • Stay in the car and tightly close windows and doors
  • Cover up with woollen blankets and get down below window level – this is your highest priority
  • Drink water to prevent dehydration
3. As soon as you become aware that the fire front is close by:
  • Shut all vents and turn the air conditioning off.
  • Turn engine off
  • Be prepared: if you drive in high-risk areas, keep woollen blankets in your car. This is an essential precaution during the warmer months