ACT Fires 2019 - 2020

October 23, 2020

In December 2019 ACT declared a number of Total Fire Ban Days.

A State of Alert was declared for the ACT on 2 January 2020, with ACT Emergency Services Commissioner Georgeina Whelan as the Emergency Controller.

MAPS volunteers were called to ESA headquarters to assist.

In January 2020 the fires entered ACT and over the next month fires volunteers were continued to be called.

From 1 October 2019 to 4 February 2020 ACT declared a record 24 Total Fire Ban days, the ACT on average sees 5–6 per bushfire season.

The Orroral Valley fire burned over 86,000 hectares of land, approximately 30% of the ACT

For ACT MAPS provided: 
- 101 deployments
- 33 members
- 8 locations
- 111 MAPS volunteer days.

Members deployed
- 1 member deployed 14 times for a total 47 days
- 9 members deployed five or more times
- 7 members deployed for ten or more days

80% of our members deployed over the fire season. Of the remaining 20%, more than half had not yet had the training to undertake the roles.

NSW Fires Sept 2019 - Jan 2020

November 18, 2019

MAPS members were deployed to fires in northern NSW from September 2019, through to late February 2020 in  southern NSW.

5.4 million hectares (7%) of NSW was affected by the fires.
86,000 hectares of ACT were affected by fire.
34 lives were lost.

The NSW fires saw MAPS provided:
- 47 deployments
- 21 members
- at 7 locations
- 142 volunteer days.

Members were deployed to 

  • Glen Innes

  • Ulmurra

  • RFS Headquarters

  • Nowra

  • Cooma

  • Bega

  • Queanbeyan.

Interstate (Tas and Vic) Fires 2019

January 10, 2019

MAPS members have been deployed to assist our interstate colleagues with the Tasmanian and Victorian fires in the summer of 2018-19.

One member deployed to Tasmania for two deployments to assist in January.

Two members also deployed to Victoria to assist in March.

Search and Rescues 2019

December 31, 2018

Members have been deployed to six Search and Rescues (SAR) in the ACT and the surrounding area throughout the year. 

Pierces Creek Fire November 2018

November 01, 2018

Another early fire. This in the ACT at Pierces Creek.

Six MAPS members were deployed over 3 days to assist.

Search and Rescues 2018

December 31, 2017

Members were deployed to three Search and Rescues (SAR) in the ACT and the surrounding area throughout the year, including on Christmas Day. 

Bemboka fire NSW August 2018

August 15, 2018

The fire season started very early with a large fire based out of Bemboka NSW.

MAPS members went on seven deployments - 14 people over a period of 37 days.

Carwoola Fire (Qbyn) NSW - Feb 2017

February 16, 2017

In February 2017, a grassfire in Carwoola, New South Wales (near Canberra) destroyed 11 homes; another 12 homes were damaged. The fire also destroyed 45 outbuildings and damaged a further 40. Two firefighters were injured during suppression operations. The fire is estimated to have burned over 3,500 hectares of land. 

Five members were deployed to assist with the Carwoola fires in NSW.

Search and Rescues 2017

December 31, 2016

Members were deployed to six Search and Rescues (SAR) in the ACT and the surrounding area. 

Coonabarabran, NSW 2017

February 11, 2017

On Sunday Feb 12 ESA received a request for MAPS personnel to assist with the Sir Ivan Fire in Coonabarabran. A section 44 had been declared and they required mapping resources.

Mt Clear fire 16-21 Dec 2015

December 15, 2015

The Mt Clear Fire was located in the Booth Range Namadgi National Park and started on Wednesday night (16th) from a lightning strike.  MAPS involvement was from Thursday 17th through to Sunday evening on the 20th.

Four MAPS members were deployed to ESA headquarters for this incident.

ACT RFS Open Day 2015

ACT RFS held its annual Open Day at the Hume Base on Sunday 25 October 2015.    Four MAPS volunteers -  Kate W, Giovanna L, Maree W and David H -  staffed the RFS Community Engagement exhibit throughout the day.  This exhibit, located at the public entrance to the display, featured two large-screen touch panels displaying ESA's Internet-published interactive street map of Canberra overlayed with Bushfire Prone Areas. 

ACT ESA IMX October 2015

ACT Emergency Services Agency conducted a three-day Incident Management Exercise (IMX) on 13-15 October 2015 at its Fairbairn headquarters location.   The IMX simulated lightening-triggered bushfires in the Brindabella Ranges threatening Canberra .

NSW RFS Southern Region IMX July 2015

NSW RFS conducted a three-day Incident Management Exercise (IMX) on 21-23 July 2015 at two locations: Queanbeyan Fire Control Centre and Braidwood Administration Office.  The IMX required responses to three simulated bushfire incidents -- Goorock Range, near Captains Flat;  Macfarlanes, west of Harolds Cross and Old Timberlight, north-east of Nerriga  -- each running  for the entire three days.


A multi-agency Search and Rescue Exercises (SAREX 2015) was held in the Deua National Park on the Far South Coast of NSW from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 June 2015.

Queensland 2010/11 - Flooding and Cyclone Yasi

During 2010 the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) predicted that the coming wet season for Queensland was likely to have more cyclones and rain. In preparation for this, certain members of the Australian Red Cross in Qld (RCQ) started looking at ways to better involve mapping into their operations during emergencies.  RCQ created a project that involved volunteers from GISCorps and MAPS. 


During December 2010 the rain really started falling and on the 29th MAPS received a call for assistance...

Victoria 2009 - Black Saturday

During the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires, Australia’s worst natural disaster, MAPS was deployed with Victoria Police for over 6 weeks. The MAPS deployment, initially to rural Victoria, then to Water Police headquarters in Melbourne, was the longest sustained deployment ever undertaken by ESA.


The MAPS volunteers worked 12 to 14 hour days, sometimes in crowded improvised work spaces, sometimes dealing with sensitive and confronting information but always professional and cheerful ...

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