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Bushfire information warning messages


Bushfires are a part of the Northern Territory landscape.

Some of these fires are prescribed burns conducted by the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service (NTFRS) or Bushfires NT. These controlled early season fires are essential as they create strategic fuel reduced zones which slow the spread and impact on life or property of an uncontrolled bushfire burning into these areas. Members of the Community should be concerned about a fire burning near their property and appreciate information on the status and potential threat of the fire. Fire may threaten people and property with minimal notice and the community needs to be prepared and have good information to enable them to make sound decisions about protection of their life and or property and appropriately plan for bushfire survival. The NTFRS will endeavour to provide as much information as possible to help community members make informed decisions, but ultimately it is every landholder’s responsibility to manage their property for fire. This includes taking all measures to ensure their safety by reducing fuels, removing trees from around buildings and installing fire breaks. Landholders also need to ensure they stay alert to the presence of fire, and the status of the fire weather as it will not always be feasible to provide timely warnings to everyone likely to be affected by fast-moving fires.

Under our new arrangements, when the NTFRS disseminates bushfire information, the message will be one of the following three categories:

Bushfire Advice message

Under this category a fire has started but there is no immediate danger and the message is for your information only. It alerts individuals to the existence of a fire and allows them to keep up to date with developments. This type of message generally relates to a small fire which is controllable, or a prescribed burn under the hazard abatement program, or a fire burning a long way from homes or structures. The information message may be delivered through the NTFRS website, or passed on to the media for dissemination at a convenient time. There is no urgency attached.

Bushfire Watch and Act message

This message alerts you to a fire that is approaching your community, conditions are changing and the fire may threaten your property and possibly your life if not controlled. The fire is most likely to be burning in severe, extreme or catastrophic fire danger conditions and fire authorities’ resources are stretched in attempting to control the fire. Under this level of alert, community members are advised to protect themselves and their families and properties by initiating their Bushfire Survival Plan. Bushfire Survival Plans may be a prepared written document or a set of procedures developed and practiced with all family members detailing how an approaching fire will be dealt with. Information will most likely be delivered by local radio, in particular the local ABC station. There is a degree of urgency in the dissemination of this message because the earlier you become aware of the situation, the better prepared you will be to act appropriately.

Bushfire Emergency Warning message

This message is the highest level of warning. It tells you that a bushfire is about to affect you and you need to take action to save your life immediately. The information in this message will always identify where the fire currently is, its severity, time to impact on your community and what you should do immediately. More information may be included if there is time to do so. This information will be disseminated most often by local ABC radio and will have a sense of extreme urgency which will require the ABC or other media to break into their programming immediately to broadcast the warning.

In some circumstances, particularly if the fire is burning on a day of Catastrophic fire danger, the message may be preceded by the Standard Emergency Warning Signal, which is the same as the signal that accompanies a Cyclone Warning message. Bushfire Emergency Warning messages may also be distributed by telephone as SMS messages to mobile handsets and voice recording to landlines in a specific area. The information will also be posted on to the NTFRS website.

For more information contact the NTFRS Community Education Officer on 8946 4128 or visit Police, Fire & Emergency Services at their web site:



Welcome to Katherine......our special part of the Northern Territory!

Katherine is the traditional home to the Jawoyn (pronounced Jarwon) and Dagoman Indigenous people, who for a long time have enjoyed the abundance of food provided by the Katherine River and surrounding areas.

The first know European tourist to visit the Katherine Region was Ludwig Leichhardt on his expedition to Port Essington, when he crossed the headwaters of the Katherine River. European settlement came with the completion of the Overland Telegraph Line, when the Telegraph Station was established at Knott's Crossing (section of the river not far from Knott's Crossing Resort). The original pylons can still be seen today, one kilometre upstream.

The town moved twice during its early development, finally being extablished on the existing site with the construction of the high level railway bridge in 1926. Since then, Katherine has grown steadily, due to its importance as the major crossrroads in the Top End. It has become the third largest centre in the Northern Territory.

The current population is approximately 11,536 and enjoying a steady 1.55% growth each year.

Because Katherine is located at the major crossroads in the Northern Territory and is considered the hub of the region, it means it's filled with stunning attractions
such as the Katherine Mineral Springs (Katherine Hot Springs), Low Level Nature Reserve as well as the popular Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk National Park).
At certain times of the year you may see wild buffalo crossing creeks along Gorge Road, on the way to Katherine Gorge.

As Katherine is also steeped in history, you’ll find many attractions such as the Icon – Sabu Sing, located beside the Katherine Visitor Information Centre,
the train and old Railway Station, O'Keefe House and even more information and relics at the Katherine Museum.

Walking around town you’ll discover a myriad of art galleries, cafes and gift shops as well as a local Cinema. Katherine is an ideal base camp from which to explore other attractions such as the
Cutta Cutta Caves, Edith Falls (Leliyn), Mataranka and Bittersprings, Kakadu, Litchfield Park, Pine Creek and Hayes Creek, as well as a number of cultural experiences on offer. Katherine also hosts a
range of accommodation to suit your needs and budget, from backpacker hostels, camping and caravan parks, hotels, motels, resort and luxury.

The Katherine Visitor Information Centre stocks a wide range of information on not only the Northern Territory but
many other States of Australia. Come on in and let us help you plan a memorable holiday!


The Savannah Way - Click here to go to the Savannah Way

The Savannah Way


The Outback Way - Click here to go to The Outback Way
The Outback Way


The Explorer's Way - Click here to go to the Explorers Way

Explorer Way


The Arnhem Way - Click here to go to the Arnhem Way

Arnhem Way


The Overlander's Way - Click here to go to the Overlander's Way

 Overlanders Way


Nature's Way - Click here to go to the Nature's Way

Natures Way 


For more information on getting to Katherine, please visit our Getting to Katherine Page or click here:




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