When bushfire warnings are issued you need to understand what each one means. There are three levels, each increasing in importance.
- General information to keep you up-to-date with developments.
Watch and Act
- An emergency threatens you.
- Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect your health, life and your family.
- You are in imminent danger and need to take action immediately.
- You will be impacted by the emergency.
- Emergency activity in the area has subsided and is no longer a danger to you
Where to find warnings
- Warnings & Incidents - All warnings are posted on the CFA and DEPI websites
- Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240 667. Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment can contact VBIL via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677
- Radio & TV - ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated community radio stations and Sky News TV
- Social media - Twitter @CFA_Updates and facebook.com/cfavic
- FireReady App on your phone
In extreme circumstances, telephone warnings might be sent to your landline or mobile phone using the Emergency Alert system.
Do not rely on an official warning to leave. Bushfires can start quickly and threaten homes and lives within minutes.
TV & Radio sirens
A siren sound may be played over the radio or TV before an emergency warning is broadcast. This is known as SEWS (Standard Emergency Warning Signal).
SEWS Standard Emergency Warning Signal (MP3 - 764k) (Siren sound only)
CFA Brigade sirens
- Brigade siren (short) – a short, 90-second siren will indicate CFA Brigade members are responding to an emergency incident nearby
- Brigade siren (extended) – a prolonged, 5-minute siren will indicate that a current emergency has been identified in the local area and people should seek further information about a potential threat
Community sirens are used as part of Victoria’s warning system for all hazards – including flood, fire and storm.
Evacuation will only be recommended if there is an imminent threat to you, and evacuation can be undertaken safely.
How we warn the community