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Sampson flat community bushfire experiences
reportposted on 01.05.2018, 00:00 by Danielle Every, Amy Reynolds, Larissa Clarkson, Christopher Bearman, Raymond Matthews, Laura Haigh, Drew Dawson
After a major bushfire impacted communities less than two kilometres from Adelaide’s suburban edge in January 2015, the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) commissioned this research to explore three key questions: what factors affected residents’ planning, preparation and actions on the day; the influence of CFS Community Fire Safe groups on bushfire safety; and the effectiveness of information and warnings for people living in the rural/urban interface. The approach followed studies conducted after other major bushfires. The findings were similar, however they provided some new insights, including that although the majority of people felt physically prepared for a fire, only half felt emotionally prepared for the impacts of the fire and its aftermath. Just over one quarter of respondents had a written bushfire survival plan (a strong result compared with the average seen in previous studies of five percent) and nearly 90% had had a discussion about what to do in the event of a bushfire. Being part of a Community Fire Safe group had a positive impact on both planning and preparation. This project showed that the collective learnings from other post-fire studies and the actions being taken by CFS to implement these learnings are being translated into actions in the community.