The colourful semi-circle has been a familiar sight along Australian roads for decades, but it was only in 2009 that all Australian states and territories adopted a uniform Fire Danger Rating (FDR) system.

Each of the six colour-coded sections calibrates a range of data and forecasting from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) as well as localised factors like fuel load and terrain.

Getting familiar with what they mean, and how best to respond, can be life saving.