Vegetation, topography and weather conditions influence the size, intensity, speed and predictability of bushfires. Understanding how fire responds to these elements and the peak bushfire seasons across Queensland means you can be better prepared.

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 and  are most likely to occur when the weather is very hot and dry. The higher the temperature and the lower the humidity, the more likely it is that a fire may start or continue to burn. They can start from human activity either accidently or deliberately, or can start by natural causes such as lightning strikes.

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.

Watch Understanding Fire Weather on YouTube.
Understanding fire weather

Damage and impact

Bushfires can cause serious property and infrastructure damage and lead to 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 on air quality and create difficulties in breathing.

Due to the unpredictable nature of fast moving fires, people are likely to be encouraged to evacuate from their homes as quickly as possible to ensure they are able to reach safety. It is important to make sure you follow any local alerts and warnings.  

Shed and contents damaged by fire
Burnt out ute next to water tank
Men standing in burnt paddock

Steps to reduce the impact of bushfires

If you live in a bushfire prone area, the following actions will help you reduce your risk around the home.


Be bushfire aware
Learn about bushfire season, risks and hazards, fire weather, bushfire myths and where to find credible information.
Bushfire Survival Plan
Create your Bushfire Survival Plan using the online tool to prepare your family and property now, so everyone knows what actions to take.
Pier on beach with stormy sky
Bookmark your local council's disaster dashboard or disaster pages.
current bushfire warnings and incidents
Check current bushfires and bushfire warnings on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website.
Family and JT packing emergency kit
Pack your household emergency and evacuation kits.
Johnathan Thurston
Check that you have adequate home and contents insurance in the event of a bushfire.
Dog drinking from tap
Include your pet and their needs in your household evacuation plan and kit.
Man on ladder cleaning gutters
Complete the home maintenance checklist for natural disasters.

Find out more and Get Ready

Check out these other pages and resources to help you Get Ready.