Bushfires in the northern hemisphere
Bushfires are currently affecting destinations across the northern hemisphere, including
- Mainland USA
Bushfires can move rapidly and be unpredictable. They can also cause air pollution to reach levels that can pose a risk to your health.
If you’re travelling or living somewhere that’s experiencing bushfires, be prepared and informed on how to stay safe.
What to do if there’s a bushfire approaching
If you find yourself in an area that’s threatened by a bushfire front:
- Track the progress of the fire in the local media.
- Follow the advice and instructions of local authorities at all times.
- Identify your local emergency shelter.
- Pack an evacuation kit. Include things like water, food, first aid, batteries and torches. Keep your passport and documentation on you.
- If you have medication for breathing difficulties, keep it on you at all times.
- Decide whether to leave the area or shelter in place. If in doubt, leave. Late evacuation from a bushfire zone can be more dangerous than sheltering in place.
- Act quickly on evacuation notices. Bushfires can change direction or escalate without warning. If local authorities instruct you to leave the area, do so as soon as possible. Don’t delay.
Read our full advice about what to do if you’re caught in a bushfire overseas.
COVID-19 safety during an emergency
If you need to evacuate to an emergency shelter, where possible follow COVID-19 safety measures. Wear a mask indoors, wash your hands often and/or carry hand sanitiser with you and use it often. Follow the instructions of local authorities and emergency workers.
Where to get help
During bushfire events, the ability of consular officials to help you may be limited. Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. If you're unable to contact one in a consular emergency, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
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