Updated about an hour agoThu 4 Jan 2018, 9:54pm Fire authorities are using virtual reality to place Victorians in worst-case bushfire scenarios to encourage them to better prepare for a disaster. The virtual reality program shows the user the possible fatal consequences if they act too late when a bushfire has broken out.

The Victorian Government will take the program to Echuca, Benalla, Shepparton and Seymour over the next three weeks, and plans to expand it further. “A good decision is an early decision,” Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said.

“An informed decision is a good decision.” The virtual reality program starts off explaining to the user that a fire is approaching their property and they must choose whether to evacuate, stay and defend, or seek shelter.

After deciding, the user is thrust into a virtual world of rapidly advancing flames, ember attacks, thick plumes of smoke and a distinctive bushfire roar. The program is designed to be confronting.

Users are warned about the experience at the start and only those aged 17 years or older are recommended to take part. “We don’t want people to experience a fire in reality,” Commissioner Lapsley said. Read more from abc.net.au…

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