Category 3 Bushfire At-Risk Register Information


Schools in Category 3 on the Bushfire At-Risk Register and the Category 4 list.

School preparations for the bushfire season

Each year, to prepare for bushfires and grassfires, schools and early childhood services complete a range of activities.

The Department of Education runs an annual fire risk assessment of schools and early childhood services. They are allocated a category of risk (categories 0 to 4) and are published on the Bushfire At-Risk Register (BARR).

All schools and early childhood services listed on the BARR and Category 4 list will also close when a Catastrophic fire danger rating day is forecast in their fire weather district.  

When the Bureau of Meteorology provides public fire danger rating forecasts or fire weather warnings, they use fire weather district areas. In Victoria, there are 9 fire weather districts, which are based on Local Government Area boundaries. Our school is in the North East fire weather district. As part of preparing our school for the fire season, we have updated and completed our Emergency Management Plan and reprioritised maintenance works that may assist in preparing for the threat of fire, conducted an assessment of our vegetation, identified and completed works and cleared our facility’s grounds and gutters.

What does this mean for our school?

Our school has been identified as being at risk of bushfire or grassfire and is a Category 3 school.

Our school will close on a day forecasted as Catastrophic fire danger rating in the North East fire district. 

What is the department’s policy?

The department’s Bushfire and Grassfire Preparedness Policy requires all schools and early childhood services on the BARR and the Category 4 list to close when a Catastrophic fire danger rating day is forecast in their fire weather district. All school bus routes which travel in or through a district with Catastrophic fire danger must also be cancelled.

When will our school be closed due to Catastrophic fire danger?

Our school will close on a day forecasted as Catastrophic fire danger rating in the North East fire district.

Closure of the school due to a forecast Catastrophic day will be confirmed on the day prior and we will provide you with advice before the end of the school day. Any information regarding potential or confirmed Catastrophic fire danger days will be communicated to you by email and on our school communication tool ClassDojo.

Once confirmed, the decision to close will not change, even if the weather forecast changes.  This is to avoid confusion and help your family plan alternative care arrangements for your child.  It is also important to be aware that:

  • No one will be on site on days where the school is closed due to a forecast Catastrophic day.
  • Out-of-school-hours care will also be cancelled on these days.
  • All bus routes that travel through the Catastrophic area will be cancelled.
  • School camps will be cancelled if a Catastrophic fire danger rating day is forecast for fire weather district in which the camp is located, or if the travel involves passing through areas that have Catastrophic fire danger.

Families are encouraged to action their Bushfire Survival Plan on Catastrophic fire danger rating days.  On such days, children should never be left at home alone or in the care of older children.

For those of us living in a bushfire prone area, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) advises that when Catastrophic days are forecast, the safest option is to leave the night before or early on the morning of the Catastrophic day.

What can families and the school community do to help us prepare?

  • Keep in touch with us by reading our newsletters, email updates, checking our website –www.porepunkahps.vic.edu.au, talking to your child’s teacher or any other member of the teaching staff about our emergency management plan.
  • Make sure your family’s bushfire survival plan is up-to-date and includes alternative care arrangements in the event that our school is relocated, undertaking learning from home and/or closed due to elevated fire danger or closed due to a Catastrophic fire danger. Further information can be found on the CFA’s website.
  • Ensure we have your current contact details, including your mobile phone numbers. 
  • Action your family’s bushfire survival plan if your own triggers are met. Our school community may be spread out across many areas and some families may be at higher risk than others. Your family’s safety is critical, so please let us know if you are actioning your bushfire survival plan and if your children will be absent on these days.
  • If your child is old enough, talk to them about bushfires and your family’s bushfire survival plan.

You can find more information on emergencies, warnings and preparedness actions here: