Lew worked on a number of NSW fire grounds for the NSW Rural Fire Service doing Building Impact Assessment (BIA) work over the 2019 – 2020 summer period during NSW’s unprecedented bushfires.

The BIA aims to collect and analyse data when a habitable structure has been destroyed or damaged due to a bushfire event. This enables the NSW RFS to examine and refine existing bushfire risk management treatments.

So far this bushfire season 2,176 homes have been destroyed, and more than 25,000 buildings have been saved. Since 1 January, 1,260 homes have been lost.

The BIA is a challenging task requiring good fire behavioural and operational knowledge to operate safety on fire grounds, a good understanding of community safety, the ability to listen and communicate clearly and most importantly, empathy to engage with residents who have suffered loss and who have been deeply affected by fires.

A BIA will provide a timely and accurate report on losses to the Incident Controller, State Operations and others.