Fuels and Risk Planning in the Interface


Risks to people and property can be altered through prevention and suppression activities in the landscape along with a range of measures within the urban environment . An integrated understanding of how these diverse elements may be best employed to mitigate risk is lacking.

Risk reduction measures pose dilemmas for many residents on urban margins. Such people place a high value on living close to bushland, for a host of reasons (e.g. visual, recreational and cultural amenity). Conflicts may arise between risk reduction policies and activities in and around bushland margins and the amenity that people derive from living in these places.

A key constraint on management of the interface is the disparity between policies targeted at pre-emptive risk reduction, typically promulgated by public fire management authorities, and the adoption and acceptance of such measures by the community. Such a disparity has been highlighted in recent research on peri-urban communities. The problem stems from differing perceptions and uses of information between fire managers and bureaucrats on the one hand and the wider community on the other.

The development of strategies for risk for the urban margins of towns and cities therefore requires the exploration and integration of several interrelated themes: quantification of the efficacy of risk reduction measures; resultant changes to amenity of residents; implementation of policy, and; evaluation of cost-benefit of management options.

Projects in this group

This pilot research project applied the innovative process of ‘place mapping’. This new approach for the fire and land management industry allows agencies to better understand how communities in rural/urban areas perceive native vegetation in the context of their landscape. It can help agencies to understand why...

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Householders living in fire-prone bushland areas recognised the high fire danger on their doorsteps, but many may treat fuel hazard reduction as a low priority. This study explored how householders perceived the value and risks of living in or near bushland and analysed the complex mix of hazards, risk, benefit and...

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