Most deaths during bush fires result from people trying to leave their homes at the last moment. Leaving late puts you at greater risk of getting caught in your car and suffering from smoke inhalation or extreme heat.
If you are caught in a bushfire, follow these steps to minimise the danger from radiant heat:
- Call Triple Zero (000)
- Park off the road away from dense bush - try to find a clearing
- Face the car towards the oncoming fire and turn the engine off
- Turn the headlights and hazard lights on. Car crashes are common in bushfires when visibility is poor.
- Stay in the car and close all the windows and vents
- Drink plenty of water
- Cover up with woollen blankets and stay down below the level of the windows until the fire has passed and you can carefully leave the car
The NSW Rural Fire Service website has more information on travelling in a bushfire area. You can also call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
Police advise to delay all non-essential travel in bushfire areas and to monitor emergency websites and local media for updated advice and warnings.