26 September 2023

South West fires report released

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Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) has released its 2018 South West Fires Community Report, identifying areas of improvement and progress made since the blazes

The EMV said the 2018 South West fires had a significant impact on the communities across the local government areas of Corangamite Shire Council, Moyne Shire Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council, Colac – Otway Shire Council and Warrnambool City Council.

“The purpose of the 2018 South West Fires Community Report is to communicate the key lessons that have been identified from the fires, including what worked well and areas for improvement, and examples of improvements that have occurred since the fires,” EMV said.

“The fires impacted lifestyles, livestock and livelihoods, and caused considerable economic and social upheaval in those communities,” it said.

“The report describes a range of areas that worked well during the fires, including community engagement, community cohesion, efforts of agencies and community health assessments.”

EMV said the report also identified areas for improvement, including public information, community preparedness, terminology, traffic management and impact assessment.

It said the report captured feedback directly from the community which revealed areas of ongoing concern included: perceived fire risks associated with vegetation management; roadside vegetation; and power distribution systems.

“In the time since the fires, many communities, organisations and councils have undertaken significant work to address the outcomes of this event and the community feedback, including areas to sustain and improve,” EMV said.

The 23-page report is available at this PS News link.

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