Encountering smoke or fire when in a vehicle

If you encounter smoke or a bushfire when driving, the safest course is almost always to turn and go back the way you have come. The greatest danger with driving into smoke or bushfire is that a fallen branch or tree may block your way forward, and then when attempting to retrace your path, you find your way out is also blocked.

If you are faced by smoke or fire when driving, consider whether it is really necessary to get to your destination. When assessed against the very high danger of driving through fire, such journeys are virtually never justified. However, if you feel there is really no alternative, waiting for someone to come through from the opposite direction to give the all clear will reduce your chances of becoming trapped.

If you have to drive through smoke or fire:

  • drive with your headlights on low beam
  • drive slowly
  • watch out for fire-fighting vehicles, pedestrians or other personnel on the road
  • watch for fallen trees across the road.

Smoke can severely restrict visibility, so slow down when driving in smoke. Do not add a traffic accident to the problems you are encountering!