Geoscience Australia has the lead responsibility for the development of the computational risk assessment framework and simulation system, which is initially aimed for use as a planning tool to model fire scenarios.
FIRE-DST is being developed to provide critical fire planning information to emergency services, government and the public. The outputs can be used to evaluate the potential impacts of fires on community assets, infrastructure, health and safety.
FIRE-DST will have the ability to model fire impacts to communities under a range of fire scenarios. Ultimately (following development and validation, which will occur over the next three years), it will be evaluated by fire agencies and land managers for application to bushfire fire-spread prediction and severity (response), and the enablement of fire-prevention management regimes and allocation of manpower in the case of a fire. This includes the assessment of the fire risks for factors such as vegetation, fire infrastructure and demographic change.
The FIRE-DST project team will research records of lightning and anthropogenic ignitions to generate information on the likelihood of ignition of fires under varying circumstances (especially under extreme weather conditions). Geoscience Australia is pulling-together the databases and models into an integrated system through a geographical information system (GIS) interface.
Data includes vegetation, terrain, topography and weather as well as the elements at risk with the landscape: people, buildings and infrastructure. Pre-processed information such as factors that determine the local wind from the regional wind and also the typical response of buildings to fire is associated with the buildings in the database. Social and economic information available from surveys such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census are also associated with the buildings.