Northern Midlands

Bushfire Information

COMMUNITY FIRE REFUGES AND NEARBY SAFER PLACES

Following the tragic fires of 7 February 2009 in Victoria, the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) has increased the options it promotes for community safety during bushfires in line with the revised AFAC position on Bushfires and Community Safety to include:
  • community fire refuges
  • nearby safer places.

COMMUNITY FIRE REFUGES

Community fire refuges are buildings that have been identified by the TFS in partnership with councils and other government agencies that offer basic amenities including temporary shelter, drinking water and toilet facilities. They are for people who leave bushfire affected areas and do not go somewhere else of their own choosing eg. to homes of friends or family etc.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Community fire refuges will not be used in all bushfires and there will not be one in every local area
  • If a community fire refuge is opened, the TFS will advertise it through ABC local radio and the TFS website (go to Current Bushfires and Other Incidents on the home page and click on the 'More Info' icon for the relevant fire). Councils will coordinate their operation and Tasmania Fire Service will assist to keep people informed.
  • It is up to each individual as to whether or not they go to the community fire refuge
  • Community fire refuges offer only very basic shelter/amenities and they will only be open for a short period of time - so people need to be essentially 'self-sufficient'
  • It is ok to take domestic pets as long as you can look after/secure them, but livestock and larger animals should not be taken.

Below is a list of Community Fire Refuges

Northern Region

Town Venue Address
Beaconsfield Beaconsfield Community Centre 90-92 Weld St, BEACONSFIELD
Campbell Town Campbell Town - Town Hall 75-77 High St, CAMPBELL TOWN
Deloraine Deloraine Community Complex 2-8 Alverson Drive, DELORAINE
Exeter Exeter Showground Main Road, EXETER
Fingal Fingal Valley Football Club Brown St, FINGAL
Flinders Island Lady Barron Hall 10 Main St, LADY BARRON
Flinders Island Whitemark Municipal Hall 9 Patrick St, WHITEMARK
Georgetown Georgetown Memorial Hall 29-67 Macquarie St, GEORGE TOWN
Legana Legana War Memorial Hall 43 Fulton St, LEGANA
Lilydale Lilydale Memorial Hall 1949 Main Rd, LILYDALE
Longford Longford Municipal Hall 67 Wellington St, LONGFORD
Pyengana Pyengana Hall 217 St Columba Falls Rd, PYENGANA
Riverside West Tamar Council Offices 2-4 Eden St, RIVERSIDE
Rocherlea Rocherlea Community Hall 23-41 Archer St, ROCHERLEA
Scottsdale Scottsdale Crows Football Club Rose St, SCOTTSDALE
St Helens St Helens Football Club 117 Tully St, ST HELENS
St Helens Portland Memorial Hall Cecelia St, ST HELENS
St Leonards St Leonards Recreation Reserve 240 St Leonards Rd, ST LEONARDS
St Marys St Marys Hall Main St, ST MARYS
St Marys St Marys Sports Centre 2 Gray Rd, ST MARYS


North-West Region

Town Venue Address
Burnie Burnie Sports Centre Mount St, BURNIE
East Devonport East Devonport Recreation Centre 67 Caroline St, EAST DEVONPORT
King Island King Island Golf and Bowling Club Owen Smith Dr, CURRIE
Queenstown Lyell District Memorial Hall 53 Orr St, QUEENSTOWN
Rocky Cape Rocky Cape Tavern 19375 Bass Hwy, ROCKY CAPE
Rosebery Rosebery Memorial Hall Agnes St, ROSEBERY
Sheffield Kentish Town Hall 66 High St, SHEFFIELD
Smithton Smithton Recreation Ground 72-98 Nelson St, Smithton
Strahan Strahan Senior Citizens Club 1-3 Gaffney St, STRAHAN
Tullah Tullah Recreation Ground Farrell St, TULLAH
Ulverstone Ulverstone Sport and Leisure Centre Flora St, WEST ULVERSTONE
Waratah Elma Fagan Community Centre William St, WARATAH
Wilmot Wilmot Memorial Hall 53 Main Rd, WILMOT
Wynyard Wynyard Sports Centre 14a Austin St, WYNYARD
Zeehan Zeehan Memorial Recreation Park Buller St, ZEEHAN


Southern Region

Town Venue Address
Bridgewater Brighton Civic Centre 25 Green Point Rd, BRIDGEWATER
Glenorchy Derwent Entertainment Centre 601 Brooker Hwy, GLENORCHY
Huonville Huonville PCYC 40-72 Wilmot Rd, HUONVILLE
Kingston Kingborough Sports Centre 10 Kingston View Dr, KINGSTON
Nubeena Tasman District School 4 Nubeena Back Rd, NUBEENA
Oatlands Recreation Ground / Oval High St, OATLANDS
Ouse Ouse Hall 6955 Lyell Hwy, OUSE
Sorell Sorell Memorial Hall 47 Cole St, SORELL
Swansea Swansea Football Club Franklin St, SWANSEA


NEARBY SAFER PLACES

Another option that may improve your safety during major bushfires are nearby safer places, however the TFS advises that the chances of survival are greatly reduced if people find themselves in situations where they need to use a nearby safer place.

Individuals (residents and visitors) are responsible for identifying their own nearby safer places, based on their own circumstances and location.

They should be chosen on the basis that they increase the distance between the individual and the heat from the flames (also known as 'radiant heat') and can be reached in a few minutes of the fire front moving through the area you are in.

They can include but are not limited to: e.g. a large, ploughed/open paddock, sports oval, river or dam.

They should be used when you get 'caught out' by the approaching bushfire and you need to get out of the way of the fire front to save your life.

These nearby safer places could still be subject to significant levels of smoke and ember attack and therefore you will need to be prepared for an environment that is hot, windy, noisy and possibly quite dark. However the Victorian experience showed that people clothed suitably and avoiding embers can survive in these circumstances. While they are a last resort, using a nearby safer place is definitely a better option than trying to out-run a fire in a car or on foot.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU OR YOUR PROPERTY IS AFFECTED BY BUSHFIRES

  1. Be vigilant in hotter weather, stay tuned for bushfire reports and implement your Bushfire Survival Plan, if there are fires in or near your area.
  2. When your area is affected by bushfire and if a community fire refuge is opened, consider relocating. Remember that many people died in Victoria trying to outrun the fires. Do not 'wait and see'- it could be fatal.
  3. If you stay in the bushfire affected area (e.g. to defend your property), revise your nearby safer places as you carry out your plan. Make sure others with you do the same.
  4. If you start to doubt your ability to defend your home or to get out of the way of the fire front, go directly to the best nearby safer place and stay there until the fire front passes.

SUMMARY
Nearby safer places and community fire refuges are two more options to promote community safety during bushfires that work by increasing the distance between people and radiant heat/flames.

Surviving bushfires takes a joint effort between individuals, communities, Government and its agencies.

The safest option is always being outside of bushfire affected areas and the TFS encourages all Tasmanians and its visitors to Prepare to Survive

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