Research into community preparedness and responses to bushfires to be complete in the Hawkesbury

Hawkesbury community members have been invited to share their stories as part of bushfire research that is set to commence in the area.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre and the University of Wollongong are working together to undertake independent research into community preparedness and responses to the 2019-20 bushfires in New South Wales.

Reaction: A Fire Truck moves away from a fire on Inberra Rd Bilpin as the 2019-20 bushfires threatened properties along the Bells Line of Road and surrounds. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Reaction: A Fire Truck moves away from a fire on Inberra Rd Bilpin as the 2019-20 bushfires threatened properties along the Bells Line of Road and surrounds. Picture: Geoff Jones.

The research is funded by the NSW Rural Fire Service and the results will be presented to the RFS.

Research Fellow Dr Josh Whittaker from the university's Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires said the findings from the study will be used to inform strategies to improve community bushfire safety in NSW.

"The research will be conducted throughout fire affected areas in NSW, with ten key areas identified, including areas within the Hawkesbury such as St Albans, Colo Heights and Bilpin," Dr Whittaker said.

"We'd like to hear from a broad range of people connected with the Hawkesbury including residents, business owners, visitors and tourists about their experiences of their fire affected areas.

"We're also keen to hear from residents and businesses about their fire preparedness."

To participate in the research complete a form on The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre website at www.bnhcrc.com.au/research/nswfires201920 and the researchers will contact you to arrange a suitable interview time.

Due to COVID-19 requirements, interviews with community members will take place via phone or web conferencing (Zoom, Skype). The website provides more information about the research.

For information about Bushfire Recovery in the Hawkesbury, visit www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/bushfire-recovery.

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