THE GREAT OTWAY NATIONAL PARK FIRE (Lorne bushfires), December 2015: fire in inaccessible bush, caused by lightning, out of control but moving slowly, giving time to prepare.
Fire Danger Rating for Christmas Day SEVERE CFA urges residents to evacuate.
116 homes burnt in Wye River and Separation Creek. Fire Danger Rating for New Year’s Eve VERY HIGH Winds north up to 30kph changing southwest up to 16 kph. CFA doorknocks residents to evacuate.
THE GREAT DIVIDE COMPLEX December 2006: 70 fires in inaccessible bush, caused by lightning, similarly out of control but moving slowly, giving time to prepare, similar weather. No lives lost. 51 houses in a 1,000,000 hectare fireground over 69 days (less than half that in one small town on one day, 2015).
In this longest continuously burning bushfire complex in Australia’s history (December 1, 2006 to February 7, 2007) in extreme drought conditions burning around Harriettville, Walhalla, Licola, Dargo, Woods Point, Mansfield, CFA doorknocked residents to help them prepare for home defence and urged people to judge for themselves whether to stay or go.
2015: CFA Fire Ready states: Fire Danger Rating SEVERE ‘Well-prepared homes that are actively defended can provide safety. Fire Danger Rating VERY HIGH ‘If a fire starts, it can most likely be controlled in these conditions.’
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley states: ‘Few people are adequately prepared… or have sufficient resources to remain and defend their properties.’
2006: Chief Officer Russell Rees gave credit for the low house and no life loss to providing residents with sufficient information to make suitable decisions and providing communities the tools that enable them to implement their decision. ‘Communities must operate in partnership with fire and emergency services,’ he said. ‘Well informed and prepared communities can play a significant role in ameliorating the impact and consequences of fires. The levels to which housing losses were restricted, in comparison to the numbers at risk and the longevity of that risk, can also stand close scrutiny against other severe fire seasons across Australia during the last decade when much shorter periods of severe fire activity have occasioned far more substantial losses.’
See report (in particular, pages 20-22).
CLICK HERE FOR THE TYPE OF CFA ADVICE given during the 2006 Great Divide Complex December 2006 in an ‘Urgent Threat Message: Wangaratta – King Valley’.