On the afternoon of 27 September 2012, a bushfire occurred in the Gippsland lakes National Park west of the community of Loch Sport. Due to the nature of this fire and the prevailing conditions, including the fuel, climate, topography, single access/egress issues and in particular, fuel reduction burning in the area, a review was conducted of this fire to improve fire service knowledge and deliver improved services.
The fire provided an opportunity to review the efficacy of fuel management programs with regard to their influence on:
- fire behaviour
- selection and success of control / suppression strategies
- the containment and extinguishment of the fire
- the public perceptions of Fuel Reduction Burning (FRB).
The fire also provided an opportunity to consult members of the Loch Sport community about their experiences and perceptions during and following the event with particular reference to
- the risk to the town
- the information available to the community
- their personal safety
- the value / benefit of FRB to the safety of Loch Sport
The review did not consider any matters relating to the tactical fire fighting operation as this appeared to be managed professionally and in line with the state control priorities and therefore was not within the scope of the review.
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