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New Bushfire Information and Warning System
Submitted On Thursday, 3 November 2005
Submitted By Ashley Hosking

The South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) has established a new
Bushfire Information and Warning System for the State.

Replacing the four-tiered phase warning system, the new system is based on a set of standard messages designed to be easily understood, and communicate to the community the most important information about bushfires in the shortest time possible.

Acting CFS Deputy Chief Officer Andrew Lawson said that the new system uses two messages being a Bushfire Information Message and a Bushfire Warning Message.

"A Bushfire Information Message will be issued to ensure the community is kept informed about a bushfire which is threatening or has the potential to threaten the safety of the community in the immediate area of the fire," said Mr Lawson.

"The Bushfire Information Message will also provide information and advice relating to the affects of a bushfire which may impact on people who are not in the immediate area such as smoke or road closures," he said.

"A Bushfire Warning Message however will provide the community with
information concerning a major bushfire that is burning out of control under very high or extreme weather conditions and is threatening public safety," he said.

"If a Bushfire Warning Message is issued, a significant and widespread life threat exists and an immediate response is expected of the community to ensure their safety and survival.

"The community should listen out for these messages. With the broadcast of a Bushfire Warning Message, the Standard Emergency Warning Signal, (a distinctive siren) will be aired on the radio to assist in drawing peoples attention to the situation.

"We cannot stress just how important it is for the community to take
responsibility and familiarise themselves with what the messages mean and what action they should take if they are in areas affected by bushfires," Mr Lawson said.

"The more people are aware of bushfire activity and the threats they may produce, the more time theyll have to make informed decisions in response to bushfires that may threaten their safety," he said.

"Although people may not live or work in high risk areas, it is still
possible for them to be effected by bushfires. They may find themselves holidaying in a bushfire threatened area, or even be affected by smoke from a bushfire which can travel several kilometres away in any direction.

"A well-informed community is a safer community. However, its almost futile for the CFS to issue warning messages if people dont know what to do when they hear them. It is the responsibility of every South Australian to ensure that they are adequately prepared for a bushfire and know what to do should one occur," Andrew said.

For information on the new Bushfire Information and Warning system and how to better prepare against the threat of bushfires contact the CFS Bushfire Hotline or visit the CFS website on www.cfs.org.au

For more information visit the CFS website and go to media releases. Then click on the link under related media at the bottom of this page for additional information and to hear voice grabs relating to the warning system.

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