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Reminder to protect the fire scene this summer
As summer approaches, brigades are being reminded of just how important it is to take the right observations and actions to protect and preserve a fire scene.
State Fire Investigation Coordinator Nicole Harvey said the initial observations from the Incident Controller and responding firefighters are critical in determining the origin of the fire.
“When travelling to an incident, always keep an eye out for details such as smoke colour, weather conditions, and suspicious vehicles or people in the area,” she said.
“Upon arrival, make sure you locate the area with the greatest fire activity, and look out for any recent tyre marks or foot prints. This information is critical for our investigators.”
The Fire Investigation Unit has developed a poster highlighting the importance of fire scene preservation at grass, vegetation and bushfires. This will be circulated to districts and brigades during November and can be downloaded here.
In the lead up to summer, the unit is encouraging brigades to print out the poster and place it within all fire appliances, as well as stock appliances with rolls of scene preservation tape.
Brigades can also contact their District Fire Investigation Coordinator to organise and deliver a training session on protecting and preserving an incident scene. These sessions cover:
- Observation skills when responding to fires
- Scene preservation process (in particular protecting and preserving the area of origin)
- Notifications required in relation to specific fire causation – e.g. Victoria Police to be notified and requested to attend all suspicious fires
- Entering relevant details into the Fire Report
- Requesting Fire Investigation attendance at the fire scene and in accordance with the SOP 14.03 – Fire Investigation
For more information on fire scene preservation, visit:
- CFA Online / Brigades Online website: Fire & Emergencies > Fire Investigation > Report Arson
- Chief Officer’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) 14.03 – Fire Investigation
- Fire and Emergency Management Pocket Checklists – under “Fire Investigation.”