The Overall Fuel Hazard Guide for South Australia helps firefighters and planners to assess the hazard posed by various fuel components:
- bark fuel (for example, stringybark trees that have not been burnt will generally have an extreme level of bark fuel present, whereas smooth bark gums will be low to moderate level)
- elevated fuel is the component that generally refers to how 'easy' or 'hard' it is to walk through that layer of fuel
- near-surface fuel is the component that is 'connected' with the ground and is usually going to be burnt in a fire, for example, low bushy shrubs, clumps of grass and dead leaf material that rests on this type of vegetation
- surface fuel is the component that represents the layer of litter (measured by the depth of the litter fuel).
These fuel hazard assessments are used for:
- fire management planning
- identifying fuel hazards before and after a prescribed burn
- during bushfire suppression to get an idea of how difficult it might be to control a bushfire in vegetation that has a particular overall fuel hazard rating taking into account the Fire Danger Index (FDI).
A data sheet and spreadsheet (using Microsoft Excel) to help calculate overall fuel hazard measurements is also available: