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Journeys : Dec Jan 2010
The new scale is one of a number of initiatives to be implemented Australia-wide. Others include a national emergency warning system and the identification of 'community fire refuges' and 'neighbourhood safer places'. Traditionally fire danger was rated from low to extreme on a scale of 1 to 100. "Under the revised Fire Danger Rating system, catastrophic fire conditions are rated at more than 100," Tasmania Fire Service Acting Chief Officer Mike Brown told Motor News Journeys. "When fires are burning under catastrophic conditions, property owners will be urged to relocate to a safe place regardless of any plans to stay and defend their properties. "Fires in the extreme, severe and catastrophic categories are unpredictable, uncontrollable and fast-moving." Under the new system, the Victorian Black Saturday fires earlier this year would have been rated catastrophic (100+). Mr Brown said the new Fire Danger Ratings would provide the community with a better understanding of the level of bushfire threat on any given day. "The new categories will let Tasmanians know that if a fire starts on a day with a rating of catastrophic, property owners should not try to defend their properties but relocate," he said. "But when you leave, leave early, many hours before the fire reaches your property. "The Tasmania Fire Service will be identifying a number of 'community fire refuges' and 'neighbourhood safer places' in areas most at risk from bushfire. It is very important that residents know where their nearest 'refuge' or 'neighbourhood safer place' is, so they have somewhere safe nearby if their home cannot be defended safely and they have left it too late to leave." In addition to the new rating table, a national telephone emergency warning system is being implemented this summer. Under the system, emergency messages will be sent by recorded voice and text to fixed phones and an SMS text message to mobile phones. Mr Brown said most bushfires in Tasmania occurred during mild summer weather and were easily controlled by firefighters. "A catastrophic day has never been forecast for Tasmania, though the potential for such a forecast clearly exists based on the Victorian experience," he said. Preparing a property against the threat of bushfire continues to be of crucial importance. If you live in or near the bush, it is your responsibility to prepare the property so it can be defended against a bushfire. Steps that householders take to prepare for bushfires are crucial for the protection of their life and property. With proper preparation, and subject to the Fire Danger Rating for the day, most buildings can be successfully defended from bushfire. Bushfire Following the Victorian bushfires, Tasmania will adopt a new Fire Danger Rating scale that warns of the level of bushfire threat on any given day based on the forecast weather conditions. New categories include severe and catastrophic. Prepare Act Survive 24 October / November 09
October November 2009
Feb March 2010