Incident Levels, DFES Control Criteria


August 2013  WESTPLAN – FIRE  For full report, see here

Note: All fire incidents are regarded as Level 1 unless declared otherwise. The following descriptors and actions are in addition to requirements in SEMP 4.1 – Operational Management and OP-23.

A Level 1 fire incident is characterised by being able to be controlled through local or initial response resources within a few hours of notification. Being relatively minor, all functions of incident management are generally undertaken by the first arriving crew/s

  • COMCEN to be notified of the fire; and
  • DPaW and LG can transfer control of bush fires to one another utilising Section 45 of the BF Act. This can be by verbal agreement, as long as the agreement is diarised. DFES ROC/RDC to be notified (verbally) on each occasion where transfer of control has occurred.

Level 2 fire incidents are more complex either in size, resources, risk or community impact. Level 2 incidents usually require delegation of a number of incident management functions, and may require interagency response.

  • COMCEN to be notified of all fires;
  • DPaW and LG can transfer control of fires to one another – This may be verbal agreement, as long as diarised. DFES ROC/RDC to be notified of any situations where transfer of control has occurred;
  • Pre-formed Interagency IMTs may be utilised if required and available;
  • Relevant Emergency Coordinator should be informed; “First hour IAP  to be developed;
  • IAP to be developed within 4 hours of IMT assembly;
  • Fire status to be regularly reported to DFES RDC including changes in incident status, values at risk and resourcing;
  • The Controlling Agency will keep agencies, with a responsibility under WESTPLAN – FIRE as well as support organisations, informed of developing situations that may require their support or action; and
  • DFES ROC to be established and available

Level 3 fire incidents are protracted, large and resource intensive. They may affect community assets and/or public infrastructure, and attract significant community, media and political interest. These incidents will usually involve delegation of all the Incident Management functions.

  • COMCEN to be notified of the fire;
  • Any Level 3 fire, being a complex fire in which life and property are at risk, will automatically fall under the overall control of the FES Commissioner. This will not necessarily mean that DFES will assume the IC, but the Commissioner’s authority to direct the response is reinforced;
  • At declaration of a Level 3 incident, the FES Commissioner as HMAv or delegate) must contact the State Emergency Coordinator to advise of a Level 3 declaration, request activation of the SECG and discuss the potential for an emergency situation declaration;
  • DFES as Controlling Agency may at its discretion appoint an Operational Area Manager to undertake strategic management of a Level 3 incident;
  • Pre-formed Interagency IMTs will be utilised if appropriate;
  • An ISG must be established, an OASG may be required – referSEMP 4.1 – Operational Management;
  • For a bush fire if Level 3 criteria are met, a Section 13 (BF Act)appointment must be recommended to FES Commissioner or delegate;
  • DFES ROC and SOC to be established for all Level 3 fire incidents, with all reporting and coordination of resourcing through DFES ROC to SOC; and
  •  IAP to be developed within 4 hours of IMT assembly