Weather & Emergency Information
Road Conditions & Updates
ABC Kimberley Radio
You can stream via www.abc.net.au/kimberley or listen at:
675 AM Broome
873 AM Derby
105.9 FM Argyle
819 AM Kununurra
1017 AM Wyndham
Aiming to reduce injury, loss of life and destruction of property in the community through proactive measure, DFES helps the West Australian community prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from an emergency.
For recorded emergency information call 13 DFES (13 3337) or visit the DFES website
Volunteer Marine Rescue In the Kimberley DFES’s regional office is based in Broome at:
Kimberley DFES House
Cnr Carnarvon and Frederick Streets
Locked Bag 2743, Broome WA 6725
Parks and Wildlife Service
Park Alerts System - Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
For information about access roads into national parks, trails and tracks. The Parks and Wildlife Service works to ensure the natural assets of Western Australia are conserved, protected and valued. If you're planning a visit to Western Australia's national and marine parks, visit our Explore Parks WA website.
Tropical cyclone season in the North West
DFES advise us to be the calm before the storm when it comes to cyclones in the Kimberley.
November to April is tropical cyclone season in our North West. Your safety is your responsibility. Follow the advice below to get prepared, stay informed and keep safe during tropical cyclone season.
Tropical cyclones can impact the north west coast from November to April. Other areas like the Midwest-Gascoyne and Goldfields-Midlands often experience flooding as a cyclone moves south.
Cyclones can be severe and cross the WA coast every year with destructive winds, torrential rainfall, flooding, dangerous storm surge and heavy swells.
Your safety is your responsibility. Be the calm before the storm and follow the advice below to get prepared, stay informed and keep safe during the cyclone season. Find out more on the DFES website.
The coastline between Broome and Exmouth is the most cyclone-prone region in Australia. Cyclones don’t only impact coastal towns - they can also bring dangerous wind and flooding to inland communities. DFES and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) work together to inform the community when there is a cyclone risk. Once BoM issue a Tropical Cyclone Watch or Warning, DFES will provide warnings and advice on Emergency WA.
For tips on travelling during cyclone season, DFES provide great resources on their website including the 'Travelling during the Wet season' factsheet. We encourage travellers to stay up to date with weather forecasts and warnings. Make sure someone knows your travel plans, including when you will be travelling between destinations. Let them know when you have arrived safely.
The Cyclone Smart brochure is worth a read.
For more information and the latest updates visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au
For current Bureau of Meteorology Watch and Warnings visit www.bom.gov.au/cyclone.
Cyclone Resources from DFES below
- DOWNLOAD THE DFES CYCLONE ALERT SYSTEM INFORMATION PDF
- DOWNLOAD THE DFES CYCLONE SMART BROCHURE
- BE THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM FACTSHEET
- TRAVELLING DURING THE WET SEASON
ALERT WARNINGS EXPLAINED
There are four stages of alerts Blue, Yellow, Red and All Clear:
BLUE ALERT means prepare for dangerous weather.
YELLOW ALERT means take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone.
RED ALERT means go to shelter immediately.
ALL CLEAR means that wind and storm surge dangers have passed but you need to take care to avoid the dangers caused by damage.
Please watch the two short videos below.
Travelling during Bushfire Season
If you plan to travel in bushfire season it’s essential you know what to do if you encounter a bushfire. Every year, people are killed or seriously injured by bushfires. If you’re travelling or staying near bushland, fire is a real risk for you.
Follow these DFES tips to stay safe when travelling this bushfire season.
WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY KIT
Before leaving on a road trip, it is essential to have a potentially life-saving emergency kit packed. Your kit should include essential items such as:
- AM/FM portable radio
- Spare batteries
- First aid kit
- Woollen blankets
- Drinking water
- Sturdy shoes
- Full-coverage cotton or woollen clothing
- Detailed printed map of the area where you’ll be travelling
TOTAL FIRE BAN
A Total Fire Ban (TFB) is issued for days when fires will be very difficult to control and are most likely to threaten lives and property. On a TFB day, all open-air fire activity is prohibited, including campfires, cookers and ovens that use solid fuel like wood or charcoal. Restricted and prohibited burning times are put in place during periods of high bushfire threat. Restriction times and restricted activities can differ between local governments, so it’s essential to check the local rules and current information of each place you plan to visit. You can find out if a TFB has been declared in your area here, or by calling the TFB information line on 1800 709 355.
TRAVELLING WITH A CARAVAN
Make sure your caravan is as safe as possible by:
- Making sure your caravan has a smoke alarm, fire extinguisher and fire blanket.
- Securing your electrical and gas equipment and making sure it is appropriately fitted, in good working order, and turned off while travelling.
STAY UP TO DATE
When you are travelling, the best way to get bushfire information is via ABC local radio. In a major bushfire, ABC local radio will communicate emergency broadcast across all radio programs approximately every 15 minutes. You can find the frequency for specific areas here or by calling 1300 13 9994.
FIRE DANGER RATINGS IN WA
The Fire Danger Rating (FDR) tells you how dangerous a fire would be if one started. The higher the FDR, the more severe the bushfire is expected to be. It is vital that you are aware of the FDR for the areas you plan to travel in.
TIP: Most Local Governments have roadside signs showing the current FDR for that area, so keep an eye out.
Fire can come from any direction and paths can quickly become blocked. You should always be aware of your surroundings and look for signs of a bushfire, such as seeing or smelling smoke. When the fire danger rating is high, have a back-up destination. A city or town may be safer than a bushland area. If you plan to visit a bushfire risk area, be prepared to change your travel plans at short notice should a fire start.
If you are staying overnight, make a fire plan that includes any existing bushfire safety plans for the area where you are staying. This plan should include more than one route to leave the area.
Fire Danger Ratings (FDR) can be a critical early trigger for you to enact your bushfire plan. Understanding the changes will help you make decisions that could save your life.
Where can you find the FDR for your area?
Find more info: https://mybushfireplan.wa.gov.au/FireDangerRatings/
Watch the short video below explaining the Australian Fire Danger Ratings System.
The fire danger rating levels are:
- Moderate: Plan and prepare
- High: Prepare to act
- Extreme: Take action now to protect your life and property.
- Catastrophic: For your survival, leave bush fire risk areas.
The white bar under Moderate indicates No Rating for days where no proactive action is required by a community. This does not mean that fires cannot happen, but that any fires that start are not likely to move or act in a way that threatens the safety of the community.
Download the Fire Danger Ratings Fact Sheet as a helpful reminder about the fire danger ratings and what you need to do to stay safe in your home or community.
WHEN IS BUSHFIRE SEASON IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA?
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER A BUSHFIRE WHILE DRIVING
Bushfires can affect roads and highways, leading to reduced visibility and even road closures. Before you head out, always check road conditions first by contacting Main Roads WA on 138 138 or using this Travel Map to find current alerts, road works or traffic issues.
If you see signs of a bushfire in the distance, like smoke or flames, carefully pull over to the side of the road to assess the situation and call triple zero. If it is safe to do so, turn around and leave the area immediately. If you become trapped by a fire:
- Find an area off the roadway with little or no vegetation where you can park your car. Don’t park too close to other cars.
- Face your car towards the oncoming fire.
- Stay in your car. The engine may be left running so the headlights can operate and not flatten the battery.
- Turn headlights and hazard warning lights on.
- Close all doors and windows, shut air vents and turn off air conditioning.
- Get down below window level and cover your body with any woollen or cotton blankets or clothes.
- As the fire front approaches, the intensity of the heat will increase along with of smoke and embers.
- Smoke gradually gets inside the car and fumes will be released from the interior of the car. Stay close to the floor to minimise inhalation.
- Stay in the car until the fire front has passed and the temperature has dropped outside.
- Once the fire front has passed and the temperature has dropped, cautiously exit the vehicle.
- Move to a safe area e.g. an area that has already burnt.
- Stay covered in woollen blankets and await assistance.
Whenever you are staying in a bushfire prone area overnight, be sure to:
- Find out the bushfire safety plans in place in the area.
- Find out where you can shelter safely nearby, in case you need to leave.
- Ask for information on alternative routes to leave the area.
- Always take advice from emergency services personnel if a bushfire occurs.
Save these important numbers into your mobile phone and write them down:
- DFES information line: 13 33 37
- National Relay Service for hearing impaired: 1800 555 630
- Reporting fires or emergency situations: 000
During an emergency, stay up to date by:
DOWNLOAD THE FOLLOWING DFES GUIDES:
- Travelling During a Bushfire
- Bushfire Warning System
- How Do I Keep Informed?
- Bushfire Preparedness Toolkit
- Safer Places in a Bushfire
- Sheltering in Your Home
- Bushfire Risks and Dangers
- Bushfire Ready Factsheet
In Australia, we use the Australian Warning System (AWS). If you are not familiar with the differences between Advice, Watch and Act, Emergency Warning and All Clear, please learn them so you can follow advice given. If you live in a bushfire risk area you need to understand the Fire Danger Ratings and warning systems, stay informed, monitor local conditions and make your own decisions. The alerts provide information on the severity
of bushfires once it has started. The alert level reflects the risk to life and property.
The radiant heat from a fire can kill from two football fields away. Plan to Be Safe and Leave Early.
DFES emergency information line: 13 3337
From 14 September 2021, WA joined other Australian states and territories in adopting the Australian Warning System (AWS). The AWS will ensure emergency information is nationally consistent, so no matter where you are in Australia, alerts and warnings will look the same. You’ll also see updated icons for all hazards on Emergency WA. As part of the AWS, you’ll see new Bushfire warning colours and icons on Emergency WA. Ensure you understand the new Bushfire warning system and what action to take to stay safe.
Make your bushfire plan today at www.mybushfireplan.wa.gov.au or on the app.
Watch this video to find out more about making a Bushfire Plan.
Kimberley Planned Burns
Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA advise that prescribed burns are occurring across the Kimberley between April and June, in collaboration with local Aboriginal Ranger groups. Registered burns will appear at https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/. If you see a fire and are not sure it is a prescribed burn, call 000 to report it.
Be Flood Smart
Australia has a history of floods, causing devastating human and economic impact. Floods are a natural process influenced largely by the weather and driven by the amount of rainfall and length of time it falls. After heavy rainfall, rivers, creeks and catchments may overflow this type of flooding is most common in Australia and is known as riverine flooding.
Floods can be devastating and can happen anywhere, anytime. Make sure you understand the risks of flooding and take steps to avoid injury or death.
Western Australia (WA) is the largest state in Australia with a vast range of climatic conditions and seasonal changes that influence and increase the potential for flooding.
If you live or travel in a flood prone region, then you need to prepare for the possibility of a flood endangering you, your family and impacting your property, even isolating you from the community and essential services.
Dangers of flooding - from DFES
Floodwaters are very dangerous. Water can be deep, fast flowing with strong currents and have sharp objects that can injure or trap you. Floodwaters can also contain toxic waste, chemicals and dangerous animals. Not only can floodwater endanger human life, it can also damage infrastructure such as buildings, bridges and roads.
Most flood related deaths have occurred when people have attempted to drive through, walk, swim or play in floodwater. People have been seriously injured from debris or have drowned after being trapped in their vehicle or washed away in fast flowing water. People who have taken action to be prepared for a flood before it happens are more likely to keep themselves, their families, their pets and their properties safe during a flood. Find out how to prepare for a flood.
Never try to drive or walk through a flood.
If you choose to drive through floodwater, you are choosing to risk your life and those of your passengers. Find out more about travelling during a flood.
DFES and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) work together to inform the community when there is a flood risk. Once BoM issue a Flood Watch or Warning, DFES will provide alerts and warnings on Emergency WA. There are five warning levels that align with the expected timing of floods.
Floodwaters are very dangerous and can threaten your home and community. While floodwater can sometimes take time to reach you, if flash flooding occurs then it happens very quickly and can take you by surprise. You should expect floodwater to be deep, have strong currents and sharp objects that can injure or trap you. Floodwaters can also contain toxic waste, chemicals and dangerous animals. Read more about what to do during a flood event.
Driving in Western AustraliaA guide to safe stopping places
Risk of Ehrlichiosis to pets when in the KimberleyKnow the signs!
SAFE Broome is a foster based non for profit animal rescue, and we are trying to ensure holiday makers who are travelling with their pets are aware that they are entering a region when Ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis) is present. It is caused by a dog being bitten by an infection tick. Tick prevention is the key to keeping our dogs SAFE.
For more information visit www.agric.wa.gov.au/ehrlichiosis
Keeping family pets safe when travellingHoliday makers who take their dogs when travelling around regional Western Australia are being reminded to keep them safe from 1080 baits.
1080 baits are used extensively by farmers and pastoralists throughout the State on both private and government lands to control feral pests, including wild dogs, foxes, pigs and rabbits, which threaten livestock and biodiversity. Tourists travelling with pet dogs are urged to consider putting them on a lead, muzzling when off lead, or avoid bringing them on holiday to prevent them being poisoned.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) regional biosecurity coordinator Lindsay Strange said while the use of 1080 baits was strictly regulated, pet owners needed to take responsibility for the safety of their animals. DPIRD will distribute a ‘1080 baiting: a must for pest control but a risk to domestic pets’ flyer to tourist hotspots as a further reminder for dog owners to keep their pets close. If poisoning is suspected, seek immediate medical attention or veterinary assistance or contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.
Read full article | Download as a pdf
The Broome Visitor Centre have a Travelling with Dogs resource that you may find helpful.
Vehicles & Illegal CampingStay informed to avoid fines!
Japanese encephalitis virus
The Department of Health is urging residents and travellers in the Kimberley region to avoid mosquito bites following evidence of recent Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) activity in the area.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a rare but serious disease of the brain that is caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). JEV is spread by infected mosquitos to humans and other animals, such as waterbirds, pigs and horses. Waterbirds and pigs are important in the JEV transmission cycle as they can pass the virus back to biting mosquitoes. JEV cannot be directly transmitted (by direct contact) from person to person, animal to person, or by eating meat from an infected animal. Learn more here.
The Shire of Broome also has some valuable resources to stay safe in regards to mosquitoes here.
Residents of Broome are encouraged to ‘Fight the Bite’ as part of a ‘Healthy WA’ campaign to reduce the mosquito population and the incidence of mosquito-borne disease.