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Residents with houses in the Sampson Flat fireground in the Adelaide Hills are to be asked to play a part in helping fire authorities better understand why the bushfire left some houses untouched, others damaged and some completely destroyed in the blaze which affected their communities a week ago.

The CFS has enlisted the support of NSW Rural Fire Service experts and five 2-person teams will be visiting the fireground for the rest of this week seeking permission from property owners to examine houses and other structures to determine what contributed to their survival or destruction.

The CFS's Director of Preparedness Operations, Leigh Miller, said the research conducted so soon after the fire was critical to understanding why many houses survived, despite the fire burning often to their doorsteps, while others succumbed.
"This research is important locally and has national implications," Mr Miller said.

"The research is likely to provide fresh information and insights into what often are regarded as 'miracles': Why did this house survive – yet this one didn't?

"It's all about better understanding the dynamics of fire on structures– information which may go to better preparing houses for bushfires, no matter whether those houses are in South Australia or in any other State," Mr Miller said.

The teams will be undertaking a detailed assessment of each of the affected homes and the results of the research will be shared with fire agencies across Australia and New Zealand and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.

The researchers will be working within the area between Tuesday 20th and Friday 23rd January.

For further information, contact Leigh Miller, CFS Director Preparedness Operations, (08) 04634200.

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For media enquiries telephone the CFS Media Line on (08) 8115 3531.

Further information:
Contact the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361, for hearing or speech impaired users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 362 361 or teletype service TTY 133 677 then ask for 1800 362 361.
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