The weather, at various time scales, is a major factor influencing the risk from bushfires and grassfires. As our scientific understanding develops, a growing number of meteorological parameters have been recognised as contributing to this influence. This paper reports on progress to date in a project to develop a comprehensive and nationally consistent climatology of these parameters, as part of the Fire Danger Rating...
The Research Forum was the first day of the 2012 Bushfire CRC and AFAC annual conference in Perth - Tuesday 28 August. It was a key part of the conference, and one of the most popular, highlighting the diversity of the research being conducted across the sector. Featuring presentations from Bushfire CRC researchers and the wider research community, the forum was not just for scientists - it was a great opportunity for emergency management personnel and end users to learn about the current research, as well as meet the researchers. These partnerships are an important part of the Bushfire CRC.
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The annual conference is getting close now and final touches are being put in place. Like the Olympics, this is shaping up to be the best ever! We have excellent keynote and invited speakers who, I am sure, will challenge those present. We also have a great selection of presentations and panel sessions to address the broad theme of 'Diverse Country. Common Ground’ -...
Across the country, fire management faces the common challenge of adapting to a changing climate. However, alongside social, environmental and economic changes, climate change will manifest differently across the country. If fire management is to support the capacity of our social-ecological systems to adapt to these interacting changes, the sector itself must be adaptive. Insights from literature across a range of...
The present study examined the validity of tympanic temperature measurements as a predictor of core temperature on the fireground in different environmental conditions. Fifty-one volunteer firefighters participated in the study across four different conditions, the conditions consisted of; 1) passive (i.e., no intervention) cooling in cold ambient temperatures (0-6°C); 2) cooling (through water immersion) in cool ambient...
Predicting probable fire spread is vital to the success of fire suppression and protection of lives and property. Fire authorities responsible for deploying resources gain a valuable advantage if they know in advance where the fire is likely to be by the time resources arrive. Researchers at the University of Western Australia (UWA) have developed software, called Australis, to simulate bushfire spread over the various...
Background: The work demands involved in firefighting place significant stress on the cardiovascular system. This study investigated the application of the AHA/ACSM Health/Fitness Facility Preparticipation Screening Questionnaire in volunteer Country Fire Brigade (CFA) firefighters. Methods: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors were measured in 3777 CFA firefighters and entered into a modified version of the American...
Evidence from several sources indicates that during the 2009 Victorian bushfires (Black Saturday), many couples did not have a bushfire plan, others failed to execute their plans and some members of couples perished. Whilst there were many cases of successful couple decision-making, there were also apparent failures of survival-related couple decision-making. In this study, transcripts of 29 interviews with members of...
Bushfires can cause considerable damage to ecosystems, life and property. Protecting human and environmental assets is becoming more difficult as the wildland–urban interface expands in Australia. Fire managers can plan for and manage bushfire events to a greater extent than other large natural disturbances such as cyclones and earthquakes. However, fire strategies that have sought to respond to the increasing bushfire...
In the Otago region of New Zealand, Naseby is a small tourist town faced with an increasing risk of a severe fire event. Burning of tussock grasslands by pastoralists and recreational activity are just a few land management actions that pose significant risks to the town, surrounding communities, and biodiversity assets. We present a quantitative decision framework to provide an integrated assessment of the land management...
As part of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research’s contribution to the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre’s Fire Impact and Risk Evaluation – Decision Support Tool project, high-resolution and very-high-resolution simulations of the meteorology across Victoria on Black Saturday (7 February 2009) have been performed. These simulations are described and validated against available observational data.
The full proceedings from the 2012 Research Forum are now available. Held as part of the annual conference in Perth, the Research Forum focuses on the delivery of research findings across different disciplines for emergency management personnel who need to use this knowledge for their daily work.
The response of vegetation regrowth and water yield after a wildfire is dependent on factors such as fire intensity, climate and vegetation type. Australian woody vegetation species have evolved two mechanisms for surviving fire disturbance; i) seed germination (obligate seeders) and ii) resprouting from dormant vegetative buds and/or lignotubers (obligate resprouters). The majority of post wildfire vegetation response...
Wildfires are a strong driver of change in many landscapes (e.g. south-eastern Australia, western USA, Canada, and the Mediterranean). Vegetation removal and changes to soil properties by wildfire result in altered surface hydrology and erosion rates. When wildfire occurs in a water catchment these changes can cause negative impacts on water quality, supply, and treatment. Therefore, being able to predict the potential...
Fire and rescue staff routinely endure significant psychological and environmental stress exposure on the job. While much has been done to improve understanding of the physiological effects of exposure to these conditions, little has been done to quantify the inflammatory stress response that firefighters are exposed to during wildfire suppression. Therefore the aim of the present study was to explore whether firefighters...
Strong normative statements have been made in key policy documents and public inquiries about the need to focus on a principle of ‘Shared Responsibility’ in Australian emergency management. However, these statements give very little guidance on what sharing responsibility might look like on the ground, leaving stakeholders wondering what this idea mean for the way they interact and what they are expected to achieve in this...
Australian community bushfire safety policy identifies two safe courses of action for householders under bushfire threat: leave well in advance of possible fire impact, or stay and defend a suitably-prepared property. Findings from a survey of residents of at-risk communities in south-eastern Australia were that under (hypothetical) bushfire threat on a day of Extreme Fire Danger 30% intended to wait and see how a fire...
Research Stream Presentations
|Is Fire Policy Driven By Science? Should it be?|
|J. Palutikof||Managing Disasters and Adapting to Climate Change: What's the Difference?|
|The Australian Research Landscape and its Place in the Global Innovation Sector|
|Modelling the fire weather of Black Saturday|
|T. StrandB. LambB. MicklerM. RorigC. ClementsH. Thistle||Sub-Canopy Smoke Dispersion: Measurements Near and In a Prescribed Fire-Source to Improve Fire and Smoke Modelling Tools|
|The Unusual Meteorology of the Layman Prescribed Burn|
|A Comprehensive, Nationally-Consistent Climatology of Fire Weather Parameters|
|Gabriele CaccamoOwen Price||Developing a Probabilistic Fire Risk Model and Its Application to Fire Danger Systems|
|Melissa Jameskimberley Opie||Understanding the Physical Context Of Life Loss In Historic Bushfire Events|
|M. T. SteberB. A. JamesK. A. MossA. J. Allen||Aurora: Enhancing Firewatch's Capabilities with Fire Spread Simulation|
|D. MellorJ. K. Kelso||Validation of the Australis Wildfire Simulator Using A Large-Scale Historical Fire|
|Jared GrunwaldDr Benjamin Brooks||Breakdowns in Coordinated Decision Making in Teams Fighting Large-Scale Australian Bushfires|
|Evaluating Emergency Response Network Emergence: The Case of the Kilmore East Fire|
|J. DurkinD. Bekerian||Psychological Resilience to Stress in Firefighters: Rank as a Risk Factor|
|The Affects of Wildfire on Water Yield and Its Relationship to Vegetation Response: A Case Study of the Summer 2001/2002 Sydney Basin Wildfire|
|Pim Rjikee||The Hydro-Geomorphic Sensitivity of Forested Water Catchments to Wildfire|
|Adapting To Climate Change – Reflecting On Our Shared and Uncommon Knowledge|
|Visions of Sharing Responsibility for Disaster Resilience': Outcomes of A Multi-Stakeholder Workshop|
|Martine DennekampMichael AbramsonMalcolm Sim||Cardiovascular and Respiratory Health Effects of 2006/2007 Bushfire Smoke in Victoria|
|Michael Borgas||Operational Readiness of Rural Firefighters - Understanding Air Toxics in the Urban Interface|
|A. J. CrockettT SchermerW. Malbon||The Lung Function of Male Metropolitan Fire-Fighters Compared To General Population Controls|
|Kevin NettoPeter LangridgeJeff GreenMichael Sergeant||Cardiovascular Risk Screening and Stratification of Victorian Volunteer Firefighters|
|Tony Graham||Identification of Physically Demanding Tasks Performed During Storm Damage Operations by Australia State Emergency Services Personnel|
|P. LangridgeA. Ruzic||Management of Heat Stress in Firefighting|
|Rod SnowPaul Della Gatta||The Stress of Fire Fighting - Implications for Long Term Health Outcomes|
|An Integrated Assessment Of Competing Land Management Actions For Asset Protection In Central Otago, New Zealand|
|Michael BurtonJoel KelsoDrew Mellor||Economic analysis of bushfire management programs: a Western Australian perspective|