Burnt walking track, Mount Eliza, Feb 2019
Burnt walking track, Mount Eliza, Feb 2019 (photograph: Stuart Gibson)

Bushfire safety

Find out more

​​​​​​​​For information on reserves affected by bushfires, including reserve, track or campground closures, please check our Parks and Wildlife Service Alerts ​page.​​ For further information on current bushfire situation, ​​please refer to the TasAlert​​ page​.​​​

Before you go​​

  • Check on the weather and warnings ​before going bush – if hot, dry and windy conditions are forecast, there is the possibility that fires will occur
  • Consider postponing your walk or walk in another area - if an Extreme or Catastrophic in the Australian Fire Danger Rating System​ is forecast in the area you plan to walk
  • Have a plan – consider what you will do, and where you will go, in the event of a fire
  • Obey all instructions - including warning signs and track​​ closure notices. These are displayed at the park you are visiting and on the Alerts page.

​If you are cau​​ght in a fire

  • Protect yourself from radiant heat – cover all exposed skin with clothing (natural fibres), soft earth, anything to shield you from the heat
  • Seek shelter – streams, lakes, the sea, areas free of vegetation, culverts, rocky outcrops and recently burnt areas can provide shelter from fire
  • Keep as close to the ground as possible – this minimises breathing heated air and smoke
  • Drink water regularly – hot conditions and radiant heat can cause dehydration and exhaustion very quickly​.

​If you are caught in a fire with your ​vehicle

  • If you see a bushfire in the distance - pull over to the side of the road to assess the situation. If it is safe to do so turn around and drive to safety. 
  • If you have been trapped by the fire - it will be necessary to find a suitable place to situate the car and shelter from the intense radiant heat.​
  • Position your vehicle safely - find a clearing away from dense bush and high ground fuel loads. Minimise radiant heat exposure by parking behind a natural barrier such as a rocky outcrop.  Park vehicle facing towards the oncoming fire front, off the roadway to avoid collisions in poor visibility, and not too close to other vehicles.
  • Stay inside your vehicle – it offers the best level of protection from the radiant heat as fire front passes. Turn headlights and hazard warning lights on to make the vehicle as visible as possible. Tightly close all windows, doors, and air vents. Turn air conditioning off. The engine may be left running to enable headlights to continue to operate and not flatten the battery. Get down below the window level and shelter under woollen blankets. Consider carrying woollen blankets and a supply of water in your vehicle during summer. Drink water to minimise the risk of dehydration. Stay in the vehicle until the fire front has passed and the temperature has dropped outside.
  • Once the fire front has passed - cautiously exit the vehicle. Internal and external parts will be extremely hot. Tyres and plastic panels may be alight. Move to a safe area, for example a strip of land that has already been burnt. Be aware that burning trees or branches can fall without warning and move away from hazardous trees.   Stay covered in woollen blankets, continue to drink water and await assistance.​


Parks and Wildlife Service
GPO Box 1751
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 1300 TASPARKS, (1300 827 727)