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Tasmania Bushfires - January 2013

Tasmanian bushfiresStarting on 3 January 2013, the combination of an extreme heat wave and strong winds caused some of the most devastating bushfires in Tasmania’s history.

It was predicted quite early on that the 2013 fire season in Tasmania had the potential to be worse than usual – but no one could have predicted the level of devastation it would cause.

On January 3 major bushfires spread across the south and south-east regions of Tasmania. In the days immediately after the fires broke out, The Salvation Army deployed volunteers and emergency response teams to assist affected communities. Corps members, staff and officers provided emergency bedding, meals and food supplies, clothing and financial assistance.

Recovery centres were set up in especially hard hit areas: Sorell, Dunalley, New Norfolk, Carlton and at City Hall in Hobart. At these centres The Salvation Army delivered practical financial assistance and chaplains were on-site to offer counsel and deliver emergency relief.

Small emergency services teams were dispatched to two fire-affected areas: Nubeena and Dunalley. They were escorted by police and the SES and provided catering for teams battling the blazes. In the two weeks immediately after the outbreak The Salvation Army:

  • distributed $120,000 in direct assistance to 225 families affected by the bushfires
  • involved over 80 workers and volunteers
  • provided over 19,000 meals to emergency service workers and victims.

By the end of September 2013, over $215,000 had been distributed in aid to the communities of Dunalley, Murdunna, Copping, Boomer Bay and Conelleys Marsh.