A decision to stay and defend a well-prepared property or to leave early should be made well in advance of the arrival of a bush fire, and people who intend to relocate themselves should do so as early as possible.
It is also recognised that people who cannot cope with bush fire should relocate well before a fire impacts on their location, and that there should be an identified 'trigger' used to initiate an emergency or relocation plan. Relocation in advance of a bush fire is not always possible however.
Appropriately prepared and constructed buildings offer protection during bush fires reducing the likelihood of bush fire related injury and fatality. Evacuation at the last minute ahead of a bush fire is very dangerous, and potentially exposes people to smoke, radiant heat and embers. It is for this reason that special fire protection purpose developments have increased setback requirements to meet evacuation/relocation and emergency planning objectives and also have a requirement for site specific emergency plans.