Bushfire Rapid Risk Assessment Teams (Bushfire RRATs)
The Bushfire Rapid Risk Assessment Teams (Bushfire RRATs) are multi-disciplined teams responsible for conducting rapid risk assessments of fire-impacted areas following a bushfire or other emergency event.
After a bushfire, risks can emerge that threaten life, property, infrastructure and the environment. These risks may include; flooding that damages built assets, landslips onto roads due to erosion, impacts on soil regeneration and loss of habitat for an endangered species.
The Bushfire RRATs differ from a Rapid Impact Assessment by not determining what has happened (i.e. the direct impacts of the fire), but determining what could happen (i.e. the remaining risks and potential impacts).
Their purpose is to minimise further threat to life and property, critical infrastructure and the environment by:
This greatly assists fire and land managers transition from response to recovery.
The Bushfire RRATs are based on a refined model of the United States Burned Area Emergency Response (US BAER) teams, who came to Australia to conduct rapid risk assessments following the Victorian 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. The works completed were well received by all levels of the Australian Government, resulting in the Victorian Government allocating funding to DEPI for the establishment of its own teams, the Bushfire RRATs.
Since their establishment, the Bushfire RRATs have been on four deployments, two of flood and two of fire, including one in Tasmania in 2010. In 2011, much of the state experienced widespread flooding, with the Bushfire RRATs being deployed with one team sent to assess the Grampians National Park, and another to assess a large portion of Victoria’s north-west and south-west.