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Oct 22 date for Queensland experiment



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No.

47 719

OCT. 22 Di D :r'O i QU22SLL11D ''I D i I I

y T

(Statement by the :mister for Supply, :Senator Ken Anderson)

Preparations for I.ustralia's first lar e-scale controlled high-

intensity fir e experiment, Project Lurol:a, scheduled for October 22, are

proceeding according to plan.

The banister for Su ply, Senator Ken i derson, said this in

Sydney today (October 15).

Senator Anderson said. "As I announced on Day 22, the experiment

viill be held at Langley, about 110 miles north-test of Roc1tha.:.1pton.

So ie 6,000 tons of brig alori scrub, cleared early last year in

an area of 300 acres, has been stacked on 50 acres in the centre of that area.

"The fire ti-rill be started by simultaneous ignition of about 900

electrically-fired charges.

"i.:y Department's Defence ta dard z- Laboratories are organising; the

experiment in conjunction with the Department of National Development's

Forest Research Institute and the Department of the interior's Bureau

of 1..eteorolo&y.

"Tie United States Forest Service is providing special instruments;

valuable assistance hau also come from aeensland Government authorities."

The aims of the experiment are to:

• Investigate the conditions under vihich high-intensity fires

• (including bush fires) develop.

• L-amine the possibility of predicting the rate and extent of

• fire spread.

...2

4

2.

. Test suppression of Prevention methods and protection measures.

Ixtensive instrumentation (from towers and one underground bunker)

will enable measurements to be made during the course of the fire to record

rate of burning, induced wind flow, air and ground temperatures, etc.

SenL:tor Anderson said contr ary to some recent reports, the public was

welcome to witness the e: periment from a vantage point.

The Lanister said "The civilian and military implications of high-intensity fires, particularly- far Australia, necessitate a scientific study Of

their generation, propagation a:d possible prevention.

'Information on such fires is sketchy and in the past has been gained

only from eye-witness or victims' reports.

"In this experiment the vital information required will be obtained by

actual measurement and recording and will give a riich more complete picture than

has been possible before."

The Australian Post Office twill use the experiment to test and measure

the effects of heat and smoke on radio con:.unications.

T ,e need for this follows from the breakdown of radio contact between

fire-fighters and their central control during last summer's disastrous fires

at Lara, near Geelong.

To do this the Australian Post Office will set up transmitters at

various points around the fire area. A mobile unit with receivers and special

equipment will record the effects while it moves around the area.

The results of these trials should be of benefit to all fire-fighting

authorities.

t,.

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3.

The U S. Forest Service (U. S.F . S.) is interested in the results

and has loaned a great deal of equipment for nieasurin wind velocities

and radiant heat flux.

The U.S.F.S. has sent out two engineers to service and install

these instr°a?:ients, and two senior Forest Service officers will observe

the fire.

SMiZ y , October 159 1969.