Industry Impact Assessment

This page features examples of Bushfire CRC research making an impact on the fire, land management and emergency services industry.

Prepare, Stay and Defend or Leave Early

A Prepare, Stay and Defend or Leave Early workshop in November 2008 provided an excellent opportunity to further the Research Adoption processes of the Bushfire CRC into the operational business of AFAC.

The process used for this workshop, which was held at the Bushfire CRC and AFAC offices in East Melbourne, are being used as a basis for guiding other research adoption activities.

Central to this process is the step where the research is looked at by AFAC to determine its potential impact on the industry, often through its Group structure.

This part has three stages :

  • Lead in
  • Evaluation of impact
  • Needs assessment

Stage 1 - Lead in

The research and its potential implications are introduced with a Bushfire CRC Fire Note.  The Fire Note is structured in a way to support a meeting agenda paper and includes:

  • a statement of the problem
  • a presentation on the research
  • a statement on what the research has told us about the problem
  • discussion on the implications to users of the research (Does it validate current practice?  Does it challenge current practice?  Does it suggest new or better ways of doing things? What else might we need to know?) 

Stage 2 – Evaluation of Impact

This stage provides some analysis of the material presented, which will inform the tools and approaches (or products) that could be developed.

A series of questions are considered at this stage. The discussion may include questions such as:

  • What is the research saying about how well we are dealing with the problem?
  • Is what we now understand consistent with how we are treating the problem?
  • What are we not doing, and how important is this?
  • Does the research point to how we can tackle the problem?
  • What new questions are now posed? What else do we need to know?            

Stage 3 – Needs assessment

The needs assessment is used to inform the tools or products that the assessment group thinks will assist in adopting the research. 

The detailed assessment could be done at agency level or at a national level.

Throughout 2009 and into 2010 the Research Utilisation activities of the Bushfire CRC will follow this process where appropriate.

By way of example, the AFAC Community Safety Group deemed the implications of the research on the Prepare, Stay and Defend or Leave Early policy of national significance and so elected to conduct a national workshop.

The recommendations out of the workshop were:

  • Support the review and revision of the AFAC position paper on bushfire and community safety and develop a more comprehensive “foundation position”.
  • Investigate how to improve psychological preparedness by linking with the CFA project on psychological preparedness.
  • Develop materials from this workshop to provide support for agencies through the Knowledge Web.

Case Study - Grassland Curing and Fire Danger Ratings

CFA Grassland Curing and Fire Danger Rating Project

Understanding the rate and degree of grassland curing is critical in fire management particularly in assisting fire management agencies in making decisions on bans, warnings, resource allocation, grass fire behaviour models, preparedness planning and prescribed burning operations.  The Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) developed a project that would deliver improved, accurate and timely grassland curing information that could be directly integrated into the Victorian fire danger rating system.  The Grassland Curing and Fire Danger Rating Project sought to achieve this through using the latest research to develop best practice in collecting, analysing and representing data.  Previous research carried out by the Bushfire CRC Program “Improved Methods for the Assessment and Prediction of Grassland Curing” was a central piece of research for this project. 

The Grassland Curing and Fire Danger Rating Project has resulted in a new and improved curing product by combining field data and satellite data to accurately estimate grassland curing throughout Victoria.  This was achieved through increasing the number of volunteer observers to collect data and improving their training, integrating satellite imagery to improve the spatial resolution, developing an automated online system to collect, store and retrieve data and carrying out field trails to assess fire behaviour in grasslands at different curing levels.  The CFA now has a system that automatically amalgamates satellite imagery and field observations to calculate the Grassland Fire Danger Index for Victoria.

Read the full report on Grassland Curing and Fire Danger Rating below.

NSW RFS Grassland Curing

Simon Heemstra, Manager Community Planning at the NSW RFS and Bushfire CRC lead end user, explains how the NSW RFS uses Bushfire CRC research on grassland curing.

NSW RFS Fire behaviour

Simon Heemstra, Manager Community Planning at the NSW RFS and Bushfire CRC lead end user, explains how the NSW RFS uses Bushfire CRC research on fire behaviour.