|Fire Impact and Risk Evaluation Decision Support Tool (FIREDST) - Final Report
|Year of Publication
|Cechet, RP, French, I, Kepert, JD, Tolhurst, KG, Meyer, CP(Mick), Fawcett, RJB, Thurston, W, Duff, TJ, Chong, D, Keywood, M, Cope, ME
|The Fire Impact and Risk Evaluation Decision Support Tool (FireDST) project has developed a simulation system that demonstrates it is possible to provide critical fire-planning information to emergency services, government and the public in an integrated system. FireDST is the proof of concept for a software suite that could assist fire managers to make quick decisions in extremely complex situations. In time, a system such as FireDST can help fire managers and incident management teams decide where to direct firefighting resources by simulating the potential impacts a bushfire may have on community assets, infrastructure and people. To the knowledge of the combined authors and their organisations, the FireDST prototype is the world's first short term (1-2 day) ensemble fire spread and impact system. FireDST simulates multiple individual instances of a fire, each with different variations in the input conditions (such as a slight temperature change). Collectively, the simulations form a so-called ensemble. The individual simulations can be summarised into a single ensemble view of the bushfire event based on their percentage overlap. FireDST achieves this by processing known information about ignition location, weather (humidity, temperature, wind speed/direction) and vegetation as well as the uncertainties associated with these data. FireDST can be run under predicted weather conditions, and be modified for different scenarios, such as changes to wind strength and direction, ignition location and time, and fuel load and type. In addition, for each scenario in the ensemble, FireDST can predict the likelihood of neighbourhood and house loss, as well as the potential health impacts of bushfire smoke. The FireDST project has provided fire agencies with a preview of decision support information that could be common practice in future, and has highlighted the development priorities for realising such a capability.