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, unburnt stringybark trees will generally have an extreme level of bark fuel present, whereas smooth bark gums will be low to moderate)
- 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: