SA Country Fire Service

Media release

New research to improve bushfire preparedness in SA


Bushfire Resilience Day is a time to reflect on the impact bushfires have had on all South Australians and remember the need to prepare for the future, which is reinforced by a new report showing more than half of South Australians would wait until they are threatened by fire before leaving.

Aligned with the anniversary of Ash Wednesday on 16 February 1983, Bushfire Resilience Day is an annual event to remember and honour people who died in a South Australian bushfire and encourage positive actions for communities to prepare for the next bushfire.

Chief Officer Brett Loughlin AFSM said today is a significant date in South Australia's history.

"It is important to honour the lives lost to bushfires in the state and acknowledge the strength and resilience of those who have recovered and adapted post-fire," Mr Loughlin said.

"The CFS continues to improve our response to incidents and has strong partnerships with our key stakeholders to improve bushfire preparedness within the community and increase the communities understanding of threats."

Preparedness attitudes and beliefs gathered from almost two-thousand South Australians across the state has informed the Bushfire Archetypes Report released by the CFS today, which describes the SA community in eight bushfire archetypes.

"Having solid data that describes the SA communities is pivotal in the work CFS is doing to understand bushfire preparedness attitudes and ensure public messaging and community engagement is meaningful to all communities and inspires action," Mr Loughlin said.

The report shows the most prepared archetypes are in the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, whilst the least prepared are in the Arid Lands, Murraylands and Riverland.

Minister for Emergency Services, Joe Szakacs, said Bushfire Resilience Day is the perfect day for South Australians to consider how they can be better prepared for the next bushfire.

"Resilience building is a shared responsibility between government, emergency management agencies, partner organisations, and local communities."

"The CFS is doing important work in rethinking how to communicate preparedness messaging with the aim of keeping South Australian communities safe and ready to respond in an emergency situation," Minister Szakacs said.

"With climate change significantly impacting the predictability and length of the bushfire season, it is critical that we increase our understanding of how South Australians asses their risk so we can ensure they are prepared for the next bushfire."

The Bushfire Archetypes Report will be used by CFS and other key stakeholders to inform how to best improve bushfire preparedness and increase the communities understanding of threats.

Red Cross Community Resilience lead, Shanti Ramasundram, said this report will be helpful in developing more tailored approaches to target the community.

"We value the collaborative relationship we have with the CFS and there are numerous ways in which this research will benefit Red Cross' RediCommunities program, which is a place-based, community-led disaster resilience program that works alongside communities to strengthen their collective disaster resilience," Ms Ramasundram said.

Media information
For media enquiries call the CFS Media Line on 08 8115 3531.

Government of South Australia