How three South Australian communities responded to the 2014 bushfires

HazardNOTES

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The Bangor fire in SA, 2014. Photo courtesy Tait Schmall/Newscorp
The Bangor fire in SA, 2014. Photo courtesy Tait Schmall/Newscorp

Hazard Note 005 summarises results from research commissioned by the South Australia Country Fire Service (CFS) following three very different bushfires in early 2014: a rapid onset fire, a long-campaign fire, and repeat fire incidents. The study investigated bushfire risk perceptions, decision-making processes and the behaviour of residents affected by these fires.

Findings showed regardless of the nature of the fire, many residents may have been dangerously late in leaving their homes. Ten percent of interviewees had a written fire plan to guide their decision making. In each of the three interview sites, the percentage of those who ultimately chose to leave as a whole household was approximately double that for the intention to do so. Regarding communication strategies, the results reinforce similar research from other states in finding that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to warning and informing the community
during fires is not appropriate.

Detailed findings and discussion from this research can be found in the full report.

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