BUSHFIRE AUTHORITIES’ ADVICE ON ‘EVACUATE OR STAY’ UNREAL
Directives by NSW RFS, Fire
& CFA Tasmania
THAT ON CODE RED/CATASTROPHIC DAYS NO HOUSE IS DEFENDABLE
defy both scientific research and the evidence of one’s eyes.
even goes so
far as warn against home defence - even if the house has defendable space and
has been designed and built specifically
to withstand a bushfire - Tasmania
These statements, allied to the proven inaccurate assertion
THAT FOR SURVIVAL, LEAVING EARLY IS THE ONLY OPTION
are frightening people into evacuations that could jeopardise their safety far more than home defence or shelter.
They are not based on any investigations or scientific research.
Nor on evidence from the 2009 bushfires Royal Commission.
THE REALITY IS
An investigation conducted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires research task force , who interviewed nearly 500 survivors of Black Saturday’s ‘Code Red’ bushfires found that
80% of those who stayed and defended their homes, did so successfully
(Issues in community bushfire safety: Analyses of interviews).
A research project by eminent bushfire scientists from the Bushfire CRC, showed that of the fatalities who defended their homes,
only 6.8% had undertaken appropriate advance activity
(Review of fatalities in the February 7, 2009, bushfires).
Two thirds of houses in the Black Saturday fire-ground did not burn.
Pictures of the Tasmanian bushfires show numerous homes unscathed
Stories tell of successful saves—even of poorly prepared properties.
To instill the fear that under severe bushfire conditions no home can be saved is heartrendingly cruel.
It persuades families that, ‘It doesn’t matter about the house’.
But it matters afterwards:-
when they stand in front of the pile of rubble that was once the essence of their life.
And it matters for the already critical public housing shortage.