News from the CRC

New online - October 2017

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

Cost-effective flood mitigation strategy for flood-prone buildings

Two reports that investigate flood mitigation in Launceston have been released. Both reports compare the benefits through avoided impacts of the flood levee mitigation program, against the cost of construction. Launceston flood risk mitigation - June 2016 floods show that the upgrading of the levee system resulted in avoiding losses of about $216 million (had the pre-existing levees failed), which is approximately four times the total investment in the new levee system. This investment in building the new levee system was found to be a sound economic decision based on the estimated costs at the time of decision making, alongside improved estimates of benefits from this study. Flood mitigation for the suburb of Newstead is covered specifically in a second report

Hazard Note 40 highlights the main research findings from this study.

Optimisation of fuel reduction burning regimes

The priority for fuel reduction burning is often effective mitigation of risk to life and property, which can sometimes contrain environment objectives. Optimisation of fuel reduction burning regimes for carbon, water and vegetation outcomes, published in the Journal of Environmental Management explores trade-offs between fuel reduction burning and environmental management objectives and propose a framework for optimising fuel reduction burning for environmental outcomes.

PhD student Rahul Wadhwani

Rahul has a paper on the kinetics of pyrolysis of litter materials from pine and eucalyptus forests published in the Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. This research investigated the kinetics of pyrolysis of timber, bark, twigs, and leaves, estimating them under nitrogen. The activation energy for the pyrolysis of timber was found to be independent of conversion, whereas it varied for the litter materials in the range of the pyrolysis temperatures employed.  

Rahul has also authored a conference paper for the 11th Asia-Pacific Conference on Combustion, which compares two competing models for a physics-based simulation of grass fires: a simple linear parameterisation and a non-linear Arrhenius model. For the lucerne hay fuel the linear model provides better agreement with the experimental data tested, and therefore would be more suitable for large-scale wildfire simulation.

Sheltering during Black Saturday

A new paper in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction discusses sheltering by community members during Black Saturday. Experiences of sheltering during the Black Saturday bushfires: Implications for policy and research presents findings from research that examined people's experiences of sheltering in and exiting houses, sheds, personal shelters and other structures on Black Saturday. Qualitative data were sourced from 315 semi-structured interviews with residents affected by the bushfires and 50 witness statements presented to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. Results indicate that despite limited planning and preparation specifically for sheltering on Black Saturday, many residents protected themselves from fire by sheltering inside houses, other structures and in open spaces. Most sheltered actively, engaging in regular monitoring and action to protect the shelter and occupants. However, some found sheltering challenging due to heat, smoke and responsibilities for children, vulnerable household members and the incapacitated. Misconceptions persist about the safety offered by houses and, in particular, bathrooms during bushfires. Education and advice should emphasise the need to plan and prepare for active sheltering, regardless of whether people intend to stay and defend or leave. The paper offers recommendations to promote planning and preparedness for active sheltering and identifies areas for further research.

More news from the CRC

The future of national natural hazards mitigation policy was up for discussion recently at a special event hosted by the new National Resilience Taskforce.
The trade expo at AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is set to be huge.
Emergency management leaders to gather in Perth to discuss how to adapt and weather change at AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ.
Photo: Chris Samuel (CC-BY-2.0)
The latest round of new research opportunities is now open, investigating assessment and management of native wildlife populations and developing guidelines for seizing and holding wildlife. Expressions of interest...
Fire and Emergency New Zealand
Researchers are needed to lead two new projects with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. The projects are being undertaken for the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and cover...
Daniel May conducting a prescribed burn near Chico, California. Photo: Don Hankins.
A PhD student has been living abroad for five months to support his studies on Indigenous burning for cultural purposes.
Researchers are being sought for the next round of research projects. Photo: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.Photo: DELWP.
Researchers are needed to lead three new projects with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. The projects are being undertaken for the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and cover the...
Ashley Wright receives the prestigious Eric Laurenson Medal.
PhD student Ashley Wright has been recognised for his excellent contributions to flood research by Monash University.
Lake Repulse, Tasmania. Photo: Tony Fish (CC_VY-NC_2.0)
Expressions of interest are currently being sought for three new research projects involving community resilience, climate change impacts and prescribed burning. These projects will be undertaken for the Victorian...
Dr Tariq Maqsood presenting at the 2018 Floodplain Management Association conference.
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC supported the recent Floodplain Management Association conference on the Gold Coast with a booth in the trade display, while a number of CRC projects presented their research...
Unpacking complexity workshop, Wellington 2018
The connections between Australian and New Zealand research in natural hazards were the focus of a workshop in Wellington last month.

News archives

AFAC17 logo

AFAC17 logo

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National research priorities for natural hazards

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The Sir Ivan fire. Photo: Nick Moir, Fairfax Media

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