Tasmania enlists fire research team

Australia’s leading bushfire researchers will this week begin investigating areas of national significance from the bushfires in Tasmania.

The Tasmania Fire Service has asked the Bushfire CRC to assemble an independent research Task Force to focus on a range of areas, beginning with community preparedness and warning messages.

Other areas that may be looked at once the emergency situation settles include the behaviour of the fires, the response to the fires, the loss or survival of particular houses and other structures, and issues specific to the high number of tourists in the region. Researchers will be sourced from Bushfire CRC partners including the universities of Tasmania, La Trobe, Western Australia, Murdoch and RMIT. Efforts to control the fires will be unaffected.

Bushfire CRC CEO Gary Morgan said the research was of national significance. “The data gathered will inform not just the residents of Tasmania and the Tasmania Fire Service, but communities and fire agencies across Australia and New Zealand.

“It is vital that researchers are on the scene reasonably early to gather the evidence and data, so we would expect to deploy teams within days.”

“The Chief Officer of the TFS, Mike Brown, and his senior staff, have been in regular touch with the Bushfire CRC in recent days, to seek the expertise of the Bushfire CRC in gathering data on the ground to inform this important work.

“The vital research that follows major fires is only possible through the national approach taken by the Bushfire CRC. This collaboration was not available 10 years ago, before the Bushfire CRC was formed,” said Mr Morgan.

The Bushfire CRC, the national research centre for bushfire research, has previously conducted research Task Forces following the WA bushfires of January 2011, the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 in Victoria, and the Eyre Peninsula fires of 2005. The findings from these previous Task Forces have informed inquiries including the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

Urgent Request to Residents and Visitors

Many tourists and other visitors in the area at the time of the bushfires will soon leave the area or may have already left.

The Bushfire CRC is keen to ensure that valuable information from all sources is not lost to the research team.

If you are able to be involved in this important research project of national significance please register your contact details with the Bushfire CRC asap:

Email: info@bushfirecrc.com OR

Phone: (03) 9412 9600

The research will focus on a range of areas, including preparedness and warning messages, and will include the experiences of the local community and visitors. The research is likely to be conducted by an online or a mail survey.

The Bushfire CRC is hoping to find out as much as possible about people’s experiences of these bushfires. The results of the survey will be used by the Bushfire CRC to help the Tasmanian agencies and other fire agencies throughout Australia. It may also assist any formal inquiries that are established.


Release date

Mon, 07/01/2013