This report begins by noting that bushfires constitute a serious natural hazard for many Australian communities, accounting for numerous recent deaths and property losses. Only a modest amount of research into community bushfire safety has been reported so far. It is proposed that the availability of a generic checklist of householder bushfire preparation activities may assist researchers in the future. The development of a 30-item research checklist is described. The bushfire preparations checklist includes items related to staying and defending and to leaving safely.
Community safety and engagement
The 2011 Southern Seasonal Bushfire Assessment Workshop was held in Adelaide on August 23 and 24 and chaired by Rob Sandford, Assistant Chief Officer of the Country Fire Service, South Australia. The workshop, supported by the Bushfire CRC, brought fire and land managers and meteorologists together to evaluate the upcoming season for the southern part of Australia, below the Tropic of Capricorn.
An update on what has been achieved during the first year of the sharing responsibility project, July 2010 - June 2011.
Professor Jim McLennan of La Trobe University has been presented with the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre’s Special Recognition Award for the high quality of his research leadership and his mentoring of new researchers.
The award was presented at the AFAC-Bushfire CRC annual conference in Sydney, starting 29 August 2011.
Professor McLennan is Adjunct Professor in the university’s School of Psychological Sciences and has specialised in bushfire decision-making and community survival.
Fire Note 86: A thick, tall band of grass extends across much of the middle of Australia from the Indian Ocean in the west to the Pacific Ocean in southern Queensland and the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales. The grass – waist- and even shoulder-high in places – has flourished because of the heavy rains that accompanied the very strong La Niña event at the beginning of 2011.
With much of this grass now curing because of drier recent weather, the potential exists for above-normal bushfire activity across the centre of Australia during the 2011-12 southern fire season.