Heatings, fires and explosions in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland coal mines since 1972, are reviewed. Geological and mine settings are outlined. Where available, gas analysis and critical decisions are discussed. This paper updates work by NSW Department of Mineral Resources (1995) and the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy in a report on fires and explosion in Queensland coal mines (Richardson and Ham, 1996). Incident data has important applications in terms of evidence-based risk assessment and identifying key issues to be integrated into competency based training programs. Predictive indicators are reviewed in terms of coal parameters in seams where the incidents occurred.