News from the CRC

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The Elephant Hill Fire. Photo: Paul Simakoff Eliims
The Elephant Hill Fire. Photo: Paul Simakoff Eliims

Disaster reduction forum and research into floods, sea level rise and fire thunderstorms

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 saw nearly 50 emergency management practitioners and researchers gather in Sydney to reflect on how communities are reducing their exposure to disasters. Helping schools to examine their robustness to emergency planning and developing recovery strategies were on the agenda at the forum which began in 1989. Read the article here, and watch all the highlights from the forum here.

Following Hurricane Harvey which hit Houston in August 2017, CRC researchers have examined the possibility of similar flooding occurring to cities like Sydney. The team from the Catastrophic and cascading events: planning and capability project learnt that while Sydney could be at risk, it has been some time between large floods in, with communities becoming largely apathetic towards the risk. It is, however, inevitable that they will return. The risk is serious, requiring both prudent flood risk management by governments and action by individuals to ensure household and business preparedness.

Coastal infrastructure will be at threat by rising sea levels at the end of the century, unless action is taken sooner. PhD student Timothy Ramm has been investigating the impact that inundation and erosion will have on communities. In this article he asks if your community can cope with rising tides? 

Global monitoring of the atmosphere began in 1978 but since then, 58 pyro-cumulonimbus’, or ‘pyro-Cbs’ have been detected. This is a type of fire thunderstorm which occurs when a fire forms ‘deep flaming’ under an unstable atmosphere. Researchers are investigating the instability surrounding these conditions and how emergency services can predict them before it’s too late. Rick McRae from the ACT Emergency Services Agency outlines the developed a process model called blow up fire model, which asks fire behaviour analysts to answer a series of questions which allows teams to anticipate and prepare for these extreme fire behaviour conditions.

A new national fire weather learning and training resource has been created in consultation with researchers to strengthen leadership and learning. The evidence-based, Emergency Management Professionalisation Scheme by AFAC gives candidates an indication of their incident management capabilities and challenges them to critically review their performance. Find out the role the research played and how incident managers are benefiting.

Fire Australia is a joint publication of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, AFAC and the Fire Protection Association Australia. Find this and previous editions of Fire Australia at www.bnhcrc.com.au/news/fire-australia.

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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

Explore by keyword

Index of Editions

Issue Two of Fire Australia for 2018 includes a look at two checklists that are helping emergency management teams when there's a breakdown in communication, the findings on community preparedness after three catastrophic bushfires swept across NSW in early 2017, four utilisation case studies that are helping agencies and incident management tools to enhance communication and capability
Issue One of Fire Australia for 2018 includes a recap of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, investigates what catastrophic flooding could look like in Sydney, asks if your coastal community can cope with rising sea levels, highlights our research in incident management development and looks at predicting blow up bushfires.
Issue Four 2017 of Fire Australia includes research on including animals in emergency planning, details from AFAC17, new priorities in natural hazards research, and a Black Saturday case study to develop guidelines for improved community messaging in bushfires.
Issue Three of Fire Australia for 2017 features new prediction software for predictions of bushfire spread, how NSW's geography curriculum allows students to become agents of change for community resilience, suggestions for reducing the risks involved in prescribed burning, research on the impacts of severe wind during Cyclone Debbie, and new natural hazards science at the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.
Issue Two of Fire Australia for 2017 features information about a weather phenomena called a mountain wave that produces severe fire behaviour, an analysis of flood fatalities in Australia, what we can learn about disaster preparation from Indonesia, and leadership for our emergency service volunteers.
Issue One of Fire Australia for 2017 features firestorms, disaster resilience, fire preparation in Bangladesh and the International Day for Disaster Reduction.
PhD progress, human factors and decision-making capabilities, asbestos risk and the role of pharmacies in disasters are showcased in the Spring 2016 edition of Fire Australia magazine.
The Winter 2016 edition of Fire Australia magazine highlights important research including reducing hazard impacts with smarter spending, fire modelling and wind behaviour as well as the rewarding experience of PhD student placements in the sector.
Mitigating disasters: how damage from floods, fires and storms can be prevented through careful planning and investment; a new approach to flood forecasting using remote sensing data; and case studies from the CRC are highlighting paths to integrate bushfire science into government policy and planning.
Developing a smartphone app to measure fuels for bushfire, 2015's International Day for Disaster Reduction, a case study on the Be Ready Warrandyte initiative and a look at what could happen if Adelaide was hit by a large earthquake.