Preparing for the NSW fire season: vital steps for safety

Are you prepared for the coming bushfire season?

As we head towards summer, Australia is facing a significant shift in its climate landscape. The latest report from the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) warns of above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall across the country.

This is a concerning trend as it points to an elevated risk of bushfires in various regions of Australia, particularly in central and northern New South Wales (NSW).

Understanding the elevated risk

One of the key reasons behind this heightened risk is the abundance of fuel on the ground. Recent La Niña years brought more rain, leading to overgrowth, which now poses as excess material for fires to burn. Combine this with the changing climate, and the potential for wildfires becomes evident.

High-risk areas

In central and northern NSW, there is a heightened fire risk, characterised by dry grasslands and pockets brimming with combustible trees and shrubs. This high-risk zone encompasses around 12,500 assets under the stewardship of NSW Government agencies, collectively valued at $12 billion, all insured by icare Insurance for NSW.

icare Insurance for NSW (IfNSW) is an indispensable ally for the state's government agencies as they navigate the intricate terrain of bushfire season. It extends comprehensive insurance coverage, provides claims management during times of calamity, and offers vital support in business continuity strategies.

Staying informed and prepared

To ensure the safety of yourself, your agency, your community and your property during the upcoming fire season, it's crucial to be well-prepared. Here are the steps you can take:

1. Stay Informed with the Australian Fire Danger Rating System

Australia's fire danger rating system has been improved and simplified to make it easier for you to make decisions to stay safe on days of fire danger risk. Understanding the changes could save your life. The new system takes simpler and provides clear actions to based on the level of fire danger.

2. Use the "Hazards Near Me" App (NSW)

The "Hazards Near Me" app is a valuable resource that provides current information about local emergencies in your area. It includes updates on bushfires, floods, tsunamis and advice on how to stay safe.

The app also offers information on fire danger ratings, total fire bans, and hazard reduction activities. It sends push notifications when there are new incidents or when information changes, allowing you to stay ahead of potential danger.

You can access the app for Mac here and for Android here.

3. Stay Updated with Major Fire Updates

For progress and danger updates on all major fires, you can visit the Rural Fire Service's website at Additionally, you can call the Bush Fire Information Line at 1800 NSW RFS (1800 679 737) if you have questions or need more information about specific situations.

4. Utilise Fire Season Fact Sheets

To better manage risk during fire seasons, consider using two important resources: Bushfire Fact Sheets and Bushfire Preparation guides. These resources provide valuable information on how to prepare and protect yourself, your agency, and your property.

Bonus Resource: REX General Insurance and Risk Forum

If you're interested in a deeper discussion about bushfire risk and climate change, the Risk Education eXpress (REX) General Insurance and Risk Forum, hosted at the NSW Art Gallery, might be of interest. It brings agency partners together to discuss preparedness and prevention.

Stay informed, get prepared and stay safe

preparing for the NSW fire season is a matter of highest importance. With the elevated risk and changing climate, being informed and having a solid plan in place can make all the difference. Stay vigilant, stay prepared, and prioritise safety.