Bushfire image

A bushfire, also known as a wildfire, is a destructive and uncontrolled fire that spreads rapidly through vegetation in forests, grasslands, or bush areas, often driven by dry conditions, high temperatures, and strong winds, posing significant risks to both human and natural environments.

What is a bushfire?

Bushfires occur when both managed and unmanaged areas of vegetation ignite and burn through reserves, national parks, private property and urban corridors. Bushfires  are most likely to occur when the weather is very hot and dry.

The higher the temperature and the lower the relative humidity, the more likely it is that a bushfire may start or continue to burn. They can be caused by human activity - either accidental or deliberate - or by natural causes such as lightning strikes.

Bushfires can cause serious property and infrastructure damage, injuries and loss of life.

The fire itself is only one element of the danger. Other impacts from bushfires include the effects of radiant heat and smoke.

  • Fire embers can spread many kilometres from the location of a large bushfire, causing smaller spot fires to break out.
  • Radiant heat can be felt more than 100m away from a large bushfire and has the potential to melt or fracture objects including parts of cars, glass windows, etc.
  • Toxic fumes and heavy smoke produced from bushfires can impair vision and impact air quality and cause difficulties in breathing.
  • Smoke can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke and reduces diabetes control.

To find out more about bush fire weather visit Fire Weather Knowledge Centre

Understand your risk

People living in bushland or in rural residential areas are generally at higher risk of fire than those living in urban areas.

To assess the risk and potential severity of bushfire in your area, visit the TasALERT website and enter your home or business address: Risk Ready - TasALERT

For information about community protection plans and creating a bushfire protection plan for your own property or business, visit the Tasmania Fire Service - Bushfire Survival Plan website. 

Bushfire Smoke and Your Health | Tasmanian Department of Health

In a world-first, Australians now have access to a free app to better prepare their home from bushfire risk and help put downward pressure on insurance premiums. The Australian Government contributed $3 million to support the ground-breaking work of the Resilient Building Council (RBC) who launched their free Bushfire Resilience Rating app. The app enables Australians to assess their site-specific risk and take action to improve their bushfire resilience. RBC: Bushfire Resilience Assessment


City of Launceston Bushfire Management Strategy

Bushfire Management Strategy for Council Owned and Managed Land 2015-2025

The Bushfire Management Strategy describes the approach to managing bushfire risk for land managed by the City of Launceston. 

The timing of this strategy follows a number of significant wildfire events in Tasmania and Victoria in recent years that have led to a review and publication of updated policies and procedures for wildfire prevention, safety and control. Additionally the most recent climate change modelling predicts a worsening in the fire season for this region. This strategy will assist Council’s preparedness for a likely increased frequency of severe fire events.

This document sets out the City of Launceston’s strategic approach to fire management of the reserves. It describes the context for fire management of the reserves which are largely in an urban setting, relationships to state-wide fire management systems, procedures and initiatives, and other Council plans and programs.

Fire Management Objectives 

1. Manage fuel loads across the reserves in order to:

  • reduce the intensity of unplanned burns,
  • reduce the likelihood of a burn entering a reserve causing catastrophic damage,
  • increase the opportunities for control of any unplanned burn within a reserve,
  • protect physical and cultural assets in the reserves, and reduce the risk of uncontrollable fire to adjacent properties, and
  • maintain or improve the visitor experience and visitor safety of Council Reserves

2. Maintain or improve biodiversity within the reserve through a mosaic of burning areas and intensities.

3. Reduce weed problems within reserves through burning with pre burn and follow up treatment.

4. Ensure fire infrastructure enables access for effective fuel management and wildfire control.

5. Identify and facilitate operational efficiencies and cross tenure infrastructure and vegetation management

6. Record and manage appropriate fire management data about each reserve in an easily accessible format for improved planning, management and incident response.

7. Community and stakeholder engagement in the fire management planning process

8. Improve the community's understanding of fire hazards and actions to remove hazards and reduce the fire risk.