If Trapped While on Foot
Protect yourself from radiant heat
Remember - it is preferable not to be caught on foot in a bushfire, as you are unlikely to be able to out-run the fire and have no protection from radiant heat. You are safer in a well prepared building, such as a house. If you are planning a walking trip during the bushfire season, check to see what the weather conditions will be like in the area you are visiting. Listen to ABC Radio or other local radio stations for news of any fires in the area. Do not go sightseeing in rural and bush areas where there is bushfire, or walking in the bush on days when the fire danger rating is greater than 50 (severe, extreme or catastrophic).
Avoid entering the bush on days of severe, extreme or catastrophic fire danger, or if there is smoke or fire in the area. If you do find yourself trapped by a bushfire while on foot, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of survival.
· Never attempt to run through a bushfire unless the flames are lower than waist height and you can see a safe area beyond the flames (this should only be done as a last resort).
· Never run uphill to escape a fire unless you can clearly see a safe area nearby. The fire can move much faster uphill than you can. If possible, move across the slope, away from the fire front, then down the slope towards the rear of the fire. The fire will be less intense here and travelling slower.
· Look for an area where you can shelter from radiant heat, or where there is less vegetation to burn as the fire will be less intense here.
· Seek shelter in nearby buildings or a vehicle, or a large body of water such as a farm dam, stream or lake. Don't shelter in elevated water tanks.
· If these options aren't available, try to find an open space such as a previously burnt area or rocky ground. Clear as much fuel away from you as possible and shelter from radiant heat behind your backpack or a fallen log, or lie face-down under a bank, rock, loose earth, or in a hollow.
· Stay low to the ground for fresh air and cover up exposed skin to protect yourself from radiant heat.
· When possible, move quickly to burnt ground.
· If you have a mobile phone, call for help if you need it.