Hillfire Safety Guidelines and Emergency Measures


Hill fire advances rapidly upward and windward on a steep grass slope in dry weather. Never underestimate its devastating power.

Safety Guidelines

  • Listen to the weather bulletin. If the fire danger warning is red, handle kindling materials with great care.
  • Except at designated barbecue sites or campsites, never light a fire within country parks. Smokers should refrain from smoking; all cigarette-stubs or matches should be totally extinguished before discarding into litter boxes.
  • Hill fire is difficult to detect in daytime. Always pay attention to flying ashes or burnt smell. If a hill fire is spotted, leave the fire scene right away.
  • It is difficult to assess the spreading of hillfire. Don't risk continuing your journey in case of a fire nearby or you may get trapped in the fire.

Emergency Measures

  • Don't panic and keep calm.
  • Never attempt to attend a hill fire indiscriminately.
  • Note the following for a quick evacuation from the scene of fire:

    a) The direction in which the fire spreads - avoid escaping in the same direction of the prevailing wind

    b) The height and density of the vegetation nearby - Find a place with less vegetation for escape.

  • The gradient of the paths nearby - Choose the one which is easiest for escape.
  • It is easier and quicker to escape through existing paths.
  • If the fire is imminent and there is no way out, you should cover your exposed skin with wet clothing and then make for the burnt area. This can minimize the chance of getting injured.
  • Never run uphill if the situation permits.
  • Don't run into shrubs or grassgrown area, fire usually spreads rapidly and the temperature may soar in these areas.

(extract from Safety Hints for Hiking in Country Parks)