Project Vesta: Fire in Dry Eucalypt Forest

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Project Vesta was a comprehensive research project to investigate the behaviour and spread of highintensisty bushfires in dry eucalypt forests with different fuel ages and understorey vegetation structures. The project was designed to quantify age-related changes in fuel attributes and fire behaviour in dry eucalypt forests typical of southern Australia.

The four main scientific aims of Project Vesta were:

  • To quantify the changes in the behaviour of fire in dry eucalypt forest as fuel develops with age (i.e. time since fire)
  • To characterise wind speed profiles in forest with different overstorey and understorey vegetation structure in relation to fire behaviour
  • To develop new algorithms describing the relationship between fire spread and wind speed, and fire speard and wind characteristics including load, structure and height
  • To develop a National Fire Behaviour Prediction System for dry eucalypt forest

These aims have been addressed through a program of experimental burning and associated studies to two sites in the south-west of Western Australia.


Experimental design
In-forest wind
Fuel moisture and drought conditions
Fire behaviour experiments
Flame dimensions and temperatures
Prediction of fire behaviour in open eucalypt forest
The contribution of bark as fuel
Spotting behaviour and firebrand distribution


For copies of the Project Vesta go to CSIRO Publishing:

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