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

Fires in Portugal. Photo: Joao Clerigo (CC BY-NC 2.0)
A European based research project is linking several major organisations, including the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, on bushfire research and response.
Tasmania bushfires, February 2016. Photo by Mick Reynolds, NSW Rural Fire Service
Watch the latest videos explaining our research and what we've discovered so far.
Students take part in a workshop on presentation skills.
Four CRC PhD students had the chance to present their research as part of a three-minute-thesis at the latest Research Advisory Forum (RAF) in Sydney on 12 and 13 April.
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Doug Hart (left) was acknowledge for his Black Saturday report by the chair of the AFAC Community Safety Group Andrew Stark.
The author of a CRC report on the 2009 Black Saturday fires has been acknowledged for his contribution to community safety.
Dr Marta Yebra conducting a grassland fire experiment. Photo: Carolina Luiz
The first web-based system in Australia to assist land managers and fire agencies monitor live fuel moisture in vegetation was showcased recently in a webinar.
Photographs taken by field or aerial observers are essential. Photo: Stephen Wilkes.
Predicting blow up bushfires and fire thunderstorms.
Japan deployment. Photo: Tim Fox AFSM
A new national learning and training resource has been created by researchers to strengthen leadership and learning.
The Elephant Hill Fire. Photo: Paul Simakoff Eliims
The first edition of Fire Australia for 2018 is now available, featuring research on predicting fire thunderstorms, catastrophic flood planning and the future impacts of rising sea levels on coastal communities.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction panel.
On 2017's International Day for Disaster Reduction, the CRC gathered nearly 50 emergency management practitioners and researchers in Sydney to reflect on how at-risk communities are reducing their exposure to disasters.

News archives

AFAC17 logo

AFAC17 logo

All the resources from our 2017 conference

National research priorities for natural hazards

National research priorities for natural hazards

National priorities for research

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

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

Research findings from 2017 NSW fires

Four years of highlights

Bushfire planning with kids ebook

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