January 2010

Created date

Friday, January 1, 2010 - 10:00pm
  •          New Board Members
  •          New Scholarship Program
  •          Large Air Tanker trial
  •          Bushfire Detection Cameras
  •          Royal Commission
  •          Conference abstracts – Reminder call


New board members

The Bushfire CRC welcomes in the New Year and a new focus to its research program with three new members to its Governing Board. They are:

·         Mike Taylor, Chair of the Murray Darling Basin Authority

·         Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service

·         Prof Mark Adams, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Sydney.

These appointments will significantly boost the skills of the Governing Board, in particular in the areas of research, government relations and agency operations, as it provides guidance and strategic direction over the coming years.

These members replace Neil Bibby, John Baird and John Gledhill - each of whom has served the Bushfire CRC with great distinction in recent years.


New scholarship program

As 2010 gets underway, so does the planning for the new research agenda of the Bushfire CRC that will commence once the new Commonwealth Agreement is signed alongside an active research adoption calendar of events and activities. Much work still needs to be done to communicate the emerging directions of the Bushfire CRC and all members will be kept informed of developments over the coming months.

Members will be aware that it was announced that Bushfire CRC would receive Australian Government funds to extend its program from July 2010 to June 2013. The Governing Board of the Bushfire CRC has now decided that start to the Scholarship program. This decision has enabled us to advertise widely for new scholarship students and to begin to put the detail in the research project plans.


Large Air Tanker


The Victorian Government is funding a trial of a DC-10 air tanker this bushfire season through the state’s fire fighting agencies, the Country Fire Authority and the Department of Sustainability and Environment. The Bushfire CRC will coordinate this trial. Bushfire CRC researcher Dr Matt Plucinski of CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems is the key coordinator.

The trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the DC-10 as an air tanker and see how it integrates with other current suppression activities.  Several test drops are being planned. If needed, the DC-10 will also be used in active bushfire suppression and this will provide additional important data for the trial.


Bushfire Detection Cameras

Bushfire detection cameras are being trialled in Australia this year by the Bushfire CRC. The cameras have been placed in strategic positions in Victoria and New South Wales and will be evaluated on their performance in detecting fire starts, compared with current methods.

The trial is being conducted by the Bushfire CRC, the Federal Attorney-General’s Department and Victoria’s Office of Emergency Services Commissioner (in conjunction with other Victorian agencies) and NSW Forests.

The main aim of the trial is to compare the performance of fire detection camera systems from three vendors on their ability to:

·         Detect fire starts

·         Exclude false detections of fire starts

·         Integrate into fire service systems and processes, including warnings to the community.

 This will be conducted by comparing the systems with current practices including triple zero calls, fire tower spotters and aerial surveillance.  

This work is being co-ordinated by Dr Stuart Matthews of CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems


Royal Commission

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission continues to engage the Bushfire CRC with contractual work to assist it in its task of investigating the impacts of these fires. This is a strong endorsement of the independent research capabilities of the Bushfire CRC. Much of what is gathered for the Royal Commission will eventually be shared with all Bushfire CRC partners and provide a great resource for researchers and operational staff well into the future.


Conference abstracts – Reminder Call

This is a reminder call for abstracts for the annual AFAC/Bushfire CRC conference – if you haven’t submitted an abstract yet you will need to get moving fast. The deadline is next Monday 1 February. The 2010 Conference is being held in Darwin from 8-10 September. For more information visit www.afac10.org

Gary Morgan
Bushfire CRC