News from the CRC

New online - December 2017

New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.

In an article published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire, CRC researchers Michael Eburn and Geoff Cary examine Australian law to attempt to determine who is responsible for fire that starts on privately-owned land. The study concludes that rather than ‘whoever owns the fuel owns the fire,’ it is more accurate to say that ‘whoever owns the ignition owns the fire’ – that is, that the liability for losses incurred by bushfire has always fallen on those that intentionally start a fire rather than the owner of the fuel that sustains it. This conclusion shows a disconnect between public policy and the current legislation surrounding liability in bushfires that appears to incentivise landowners to do nothing to control fuel on their own property, and the authors offer suggestions for legislative reform to address this issue.

A new report from the Policies, institutions and governance project is available online. The report reviews the processes used in major post-event inquiries, and concludes that the coroner/Royal Commissioner model has been ineffective in developing recommendations for learning that will help with community recovery and future resilience. The authors then suggest a restorative justice approach to these inquiries as an alternative approach that could allow all stakeholders to come together to collaboratively deal with the aftermath of disasters.

The Managing animals in disasters project team have published a paper in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction that reports on the results from interviews with horse owners regarding their plans for their horses in bushfire scenarios. The relocation or evacuation of horses in disasters is arguably more difficult and complex than for other household companion animals, and yet the plans and responses of horse owners to emergencies have not previously been the subject of empirical analysis. The responses to these interviews offer insight into the plans and behaviour of the Australian ‘horse community.’

An article by CRC PhD student Charles Newland is now available in Environmental Modelling & Software. Modelling of changes in land use is important in environmental management and planning, however the number and sensitivity of parameters make these models time-consuming to calibrate. This paper, co-authored by members of the Improved decision support systems for optimal natural hazard mitigation team, presents an optimisation framework for the automatic calibration of land-use models.

CRC PhD student Grigorijs Goldbergs has a new article available online in Remote Sensing of Environment. His research analyses the effectiveness and accuracy of LiDAR remote sensing in the assessment of fuel and carbon stocks across broad areas of the previously under-studied north Australian tropical savanna. The study’s results show how individual tree detection and area-based approaches can be used in combination to understand how uncertainty in remotely sensed biomass changes as the scale is expanded.

Research from CRC PhD student James Furlaud published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire offers new insight into the effectiveness of prescribed burning for bushfire mitigation in Tasmania. Using computer modelling, the team examined three prescribed burning scenarios: the first with no prescribed burning, the second with the maximum amount of prescribed burning possible within ecological constraints, and the third with 12 more realistic state-wide prescribed burning regimes.

More news from the CRC

New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Black Saturday 2009 Kinglake
Research is helping government and emergency management agencies identify and allocate ownership of risks, how risk owners are responsible, and what they can do to manage them.
Planning for animals during an emergency adds another layer of complexity.
Australians love their pets – and this influences how people behave during an emergency, with emergency services incorporating findings from research to influence their plans and policies during disasters.
A flood wipes out a bridge in southern WA, February 2017. Photo: Dana Fairhead
Changing the focus of warning messages based on research has been the key to ensure critical safety advice is heard and acted upon.
Photo: Sascha Grant CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Using the latest satellite-based earth observation systems and the Himawari satellite, research will allow fire managers to hone in on bushfires before they become too large to handle.
Photo: Michael Dawes (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Research has shown that improvements can be made that can strengthen houses to reduce wind damage, as well as save money through the reduction of insurance premiums.
Photo: South Australia SES
‘What if?’ scenario modelling by the CRC is helping government, planning authorities and emergency service agencies think through the costs and consequences of various options on preparing for major disasters and how...
Photo: South Australia SES
Emergency Management Victoria is embedding national findings to develop a better understanding of resilience at the state level, using baseline data to build a ‘living’ resilience index within the organisation.
Photo: New Zealand Fire Service

Teamwork is essential to ensure incident management teams function to the best of their ability in challenging and high stakes environments. To help improve teamwork, practical tools have been developed by the...

Prescribed burning underway. Photo Veronique Florec
Not everything that is important can be assigned a dollar value, with research helping natural hazards managers justify the use and allocation of resources for mitigation efforts.

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