Fire severity rating

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Fire severity rating - assessing current bushfire hazard mapping practices and exploring the relationship between fire behaviour indices of fire damage potential and community loss.

This research is being undertaken for the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI).

Project Brief

This project aims to:

  • assess current bushfire hazard mapping practices;
  • explore the relationship between fire behaviour indices/measures of fire severity/damage potential and community loss;
  • refine bushfire hazard rating and mapping; and
  • initiate possible fire severity scales through the use of a national archive of past bushfires and their impacts on communities.

This aim will be achieved through the following steps:

  • review and utilise the Australian Standards Construction of buildings and implement a criteria based hazard mapping approach;
  • collate data building upon existing fire behaviour related information on the impact of major fires in Australia in relation to community loss;
  • review and calculate fire behaviour characteristics and indices such as fire intensity and the power of each fire;
  • determine the relationship between fire behaviour characteristics and indices with community loss; and
  • analyse the relationship between fire power and community loss.

This project will provide the DEPI with:

  • a hazard map based on the Australian standards radiative heat transfer model and intensity incorporating ember attack;
  • a database of bushfire related information (e.g. fuel, weather, flame height etc);
  • analysis of data, including:

o   historic bushfire related fire behaviour and community loss

o   fire weather related indices and fire power outputs

o   relationships between community loss and fire behaviour

o   statistical approach to test relationships with model outputs;

  • technical reports and refereed journal articles; and
  • updated approaches to bushfire hazard rating and risk assessment.

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