Fire Note 119: January 2013 saw NSW areas around Yass, Shoalhaven and Coonabarabran impacted by large fires. At the request of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, the Bushfire CRC coordinated a field research task force to interview a sample of respondents in each of the three communities affected by the fires, complemented by an online survey.
Fire Note 118: Better management of emergency incidents can reduce any adverse consequences on communities. This Fire Note discusses research into multi-agency emergency management at regional and state levels to improve incident management. The research has investigated what enables and constrains effective performance at the regional and state levels of emergency management (and at a national level in New Zealand).
Fire Note 117: The research findings presented in this Fire Note explain that different psychological processes between individuals drives their decision making. Residents who wait and see when threatened by a bushfire do so because they fear making the wrong decision. Most residents surveyed who chose this option did not perceive the risks associated with this choice to be great. They did not want to leave unnecessarily and risk losing the house when they could have saved it had they stayed, and they did not want to be exposed to unnecessary danger when leaving.
Fire Note 116: Large areas of southern Australia, especially along the east and west coasts extending inland, face above normal fire potential for the 2013-2014 fire season, despite the extensive fires in some parts of the country over the last 12 months. However, the area most at risk does not extend right across the country, as was seen in 2012-2013. The above normal forecast is due to abundant grass growth across inland Australia, due to above average rainfall since May 2013.
Fire Note 115: This Fire Note outlines a study on the amount of water needed as forests recover after fire. Research shows that after three years mixed species eucalyptus forests that regenerate by sprouting do not use more water than similar unburnt forests. When the canopy in the regenerating forest closely resembles a mature, undisturbed forest, it is proposed that water use in the regenerating forest should not increase dramatically as the forest continues to move towards maturity.
Fire Note 114: This Fire Note outlines the emission products released in smoke from rural/urban interface fires and what this means. The materials burnt during the research are commonly present in a house or surrounds, but the current knowledge on their combustion is limited. A better understanding of the type and concentrations of potentially toxic gases and particles released during a fire will help assess exposure risks to firefighters and communities at the rural/urban interface.
Fire Note 113: Large areas of northern Australia face the prospect of an above normal bushfire season this year, due to generally below average rainfall in the months leading up to the main fire season.
This is the major conclusion of the Bushfire CRC Northern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for the Northern Territory, northern Queensland and Western Australia.
Fire Note 112: This Fire Note outlines research investigating why many residents of bushfire prone areas delay their decision to defend or evacuate in response to a bushfire until the day of a fire. The research examined several plausible reasons for such a delay stemming from decision avoidance research. This Fire Note discusses the research findings, as well as the opportunities and obstacles to overcoming the problems associated with decision delay.
Fire Note 111: Exposure to smoke and high temperatures, coupled with little sleep, can impair firefighters’ cognitive (mental) and physical capacities on the fireground. This Fire Note presents research currently being undertaken to discover more about the combined effects of these stressors by simulating bushfire suppression activities indoors, controlling temperature, carbon monoxide levels and the sleeping environment.
Fire Note 110: This Fire Note focuses on the influence of the physical condition of different plant species from forests and grasslands in eastern and northern Australia. In two studies, the influence of fuel moisture on the combustion characteristics of leaves from three species of Eucalyptus was assessed. A third experiment burnt a range of grass species to assess flammability.