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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).

More information

A data sheet and spreadsheet (using Microsoft Excel) to help calculate overall fuel hazard measurements is also available:

Click here to view form.