Fire danger index

A system, called an FDI or Fire Danger Index, is sent twice a day to all forestry companies to keep the risk or fire standby team alert of prevailing weather conditions. They in turn notify all the relevant persons – plantation managers and also the eco-tourism office. This system tells the teams the wind speed and direction, humidity and air pressure. The crews are alerted by means of a colour coding system where blue is relatively calm, and orange to red extremely dangerous.


On high orange and red days, all personnel and any other person on the plantation is withdrawn, and the personnel are on high alert, and the fire crews are on standby. Activities on the plantation are brought to a halt, and no person is allowed access.


At this point, out of an eco-tourism point of few, you as a hiker will also be evacuated. This is done for your own safety, and is it important that you adhere to the conditions as set out in your permit.


Tips of what to do when caught in an uncontrolled fire situation.

  1. Try to stay calm.
  2. Try to find an area which has been burnt – fire break, or keep as close as possible to water.
  3. Stay close to the ground – it is cooler closer to the ground than the air above.
  4. Phone the emergency number as provided or the 0860 stop fire number. Explain more or less where you are (the name of the hiking trail); try to look for compartment numbers – usually painted on trees or rocks.
  5. If possible, try to stay in one spot – people scattering on not being where they are, makes for a dangerous situation not only for you, but for rescue operations.
  6. Listen to what the person is telling you – they are trained, and know exactly what to do.
  7. Should you spot any fire, it is better to contact the emergency number rather than to let it be. Remember, letting us know, helps us to stop devastation taking place, as well as the possible loss of lives. Rather be safe than sorry.
FIRE DANGER INDEX 0 – 20 21 – 45 46 – 60 61 – 75 76 – 100
FLAME LENGTHS (METRE) 0 – 1 1 1.2 1.2 1.8 1.8 – 2.4 2.4 +
Fire control guide Contact the Local Fire protection Association to attain the latest information regarding the fire danger rating applicable Low fire hazard Controlled burning operations can normally be executed with a reasonable degree of safety Although controlled burning operations can be done without creating a fire hazard, care must be taken when burning on exposed dry slopes.   Keep a constant watch for unexpected wind speed and direction changes. Controlled burning is not recommended when the FDI exceeds 45.  Aircraft should be called in at the early stages of a fire. No controlled burning of any nature should take place.   Careful note should be taken of any sign of smoke anywhere – especially on the up-wind side of any plantation.   Any fire that occurs should be attacked with the maximum force at hand, including all available aircraft at the time. All personnel and equipment should be removed from field.   Fire teams, labour and equipment are to be placed on full stand-by.   At the first sign of smoke, every possible measure should be taken in order to bring the fire under control in the shortest possible time.   All available aircraft are to be called for without delay.