AICOMOS Bushfire Response (2020)


Rapid Assessment Form for Fire Impacted Heritage Places

Australia ICOMOS would like to support people impacted by bushfires.

We are aware that property owners, townspeople, Aboriginal communities and many others will be highly traumatised by what has happened and will be wondering what can be done.

Australia ICOMOS and Blue Shield Australia have prepared a simple rapid assessment form for fire impacted places (see links below) that could be adapted and used by heritage professionals or council officers undertaking an assessment of the damage to heritage places.

The rapid assessment form has been designed to be completed by council officers or heritage professionals rather than owners to save further trauma. Some of the boxes only require a tick, whereas others can accommodate a few brief words to describe the impacts. We have included a section on insurance/financial situations, as we are well aware that recovery will depend very much on the will, finances and capacity of property owners.

Australia ICOMOS is very happy to take feedback on the form and update it as necessary. It has the potential to be made into an online platform, so that data can be transferred directly from the fields.

Australia ICOMOS is drafting some preliminary guidelines for assessing fire-affected heritage places (currently in review) and these will be shared as soon as possible.

Blue Shield Australia has links to guidelines for recovery of various collections if required.

Australia ICOMOS has links to ICOMOS guidelines on first aid for cultural heritage, risk preparedness and post trauma recovery of heritage. We will be adding to this toolkit over the next few weeks.


Resource links from the Australia War Memorial website

Conservation advice: Fire damaged memorabilia: advice for bushfire victims

Conservation advice: Cleaning Soot Damaged Objects

Salvage of Water-Damaged Collections


Australia ICOMOS Draft Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Places Damaged by the January 2003 Bushfires in South East Australia

Australia ICOMOS is planning to review and update these Draft Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Places Damaged by Fire, which were prepared as a draft in response to the January 2003 Bushfires in South East Australia.


Penguin and CSIRO bushfire safety guides

Essential Bushfire Safety Tips (CSIRO, 2012) (this is an abridged version of the publication below)

The Complete Bushfire Safety Book (Penguin, 2000)