News from the CRC

New online - February 2018

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

At the request of the NSW Rural Fire Service, the CRC investigated warnings, community preparedness and responses to three bushfires in NSW in 2017. Community preparedness and responses to the 2017 New South Wales bushfires covers the the Currandooley, Sir Ivan and Carwoola fires, with key findings centring around warnings, the behaviour of those under threat and public expectations of fire and emergency service agencies. The study found that people greatly value the Fires Near Me smartphone application and NSW RFS website for warning information, believing the information to be easy to understand, useful and sufficiently localised. However, there is a need to more clearly communicate that destructive fires occur at all fire danger conditions, not just at the Catastrophic level, as well as the limitations of directly attacking a fire front when conditions are too dangerous. The research also confirms the tendency for people to wait and observe the fire directly before getting ready to defend themselves or confirm the need to leave even after receiving a warning. 

A paper by CRC researchers Celeste Young and Roger Jones has been published in the Australian Journal of Emergency Management, examining the changing nature of natural hazard recovery. The authors argue that current practice in recovery funding does not adequately support communities recovering from natural hazards, and suggest that identifying longer-term risks and their consequences in advance will allow for more effective, sustained recovery.

The Tools supporting fire management in northern Australia project has had a paper featured in Remote Sensing of Environment. Using three case study bushfires in Australia’s tropical savanna, the team compared the effectiveness of MODIS and Landsat fire severity mapping, highlighting the potential for MODIS fire severity mapping as well as the impacts of severe fire on tree stand structure, and identifying challenges in the use of remote sensing to map fire severity in Australian savanna.

The International Journal of Solids and Structures has published a paper co-authored by researchers from the Cost-effective mitigation strategy for building related earthquake risk project. In it, the team discuss the challenges in modelling debonding and load-slip under stress, and build upon previous research to suggest a model for debonding over long and short bonded lengths. In addition, the paper suggests a framework through which bond models for specific types of systems can be developed.

A paper in Environmental Science and Policy examines sheltering options and practices in the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria. Co-authored by CRC researchers Josh Whittaker and Katherine Haynes, the article examines challenges and situations encountered by residents sheltering and leaving shelter by looking at human behaviour, building design, landscape and fire behaviour. The authors note that advice relating to sheltering is less developed compared to advice regarding leaving or staying to defend property, and suggest a number of ways in which sheltering practices can be improved.

An article in the International Journal of Wildland Fire co-authored by CRC researcher Jason Sharples offers an in-depth examination of the dynamics of junction fires. Using laboratory and field results, the article provides an explanation of the processes involved in junction fires that are applicable across a wide range of scales with little influence from initial boundary conditions.

CRC PhD student Rachel Quill’s thesis is now available. Titled Statistical Characterisation of Wind Fields Over Complex Terrain with Applications in Bushfire Modelling, Rachel’s thesis offers new datasets and modelling techniques for wind over complex terrain, demonstrating how statistical approaches to wind modelling can complement existing physics-based models. The resulting models provide better predictions of wind direction, and as a result can be used for more accurate fire spread prediction and bushfire modelling. 

CRC PhD student Grigorijs Goldbergs has published a paper in Remote Sensing that covers the use of unmanned aerial systems as a low-cost substitute for airborne LiDAR detection of individual trees. Grigorijs’ research suggests that point clouds obtained from unmanned aerial systems can effectively detect individual trees, measure tree heights and provide estimates of above-ground biomass, and therefore serve as an adequate low-cost alternative to airborne LiDAR.

More news from the CRC

Dr Veronique Florec talks at AFAC17.
Registrations are now open for AFAC18 powered by INTERSCHUTZ, the annual conference of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC.
Lismore floods 2017. Photo: NSW SES
Emergency management practitioners are encouraged to share their views on planning and preparation for catastrophic disasters through a new survey
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
Tony Jarrett from the NSW RFS at the 2017 International Day for Disaster Reduction.
Watch the highlights and full session from the International Day for Disaster Reduction public forum.
Prescribed burn of an area infested by Gamba grass near Darwin.
This is the February 2018 newsletter from the Scientific diversity, scientific uncertainty and risk mitigation policy and planning project (RMPP), with updates for project end-users.
Bush at Moggs Creek in the Otways after a burn. Photo by Timothy Neale.
This is the February 2018 newsletter from the Hazards, culture and Indigenous communities project, with updates for project end-users.
York Town Hall. Photo: Geoscience Australia
Research is underway to protect a small town in one of Australia’s most active earthquake regions.
Check out the latest CRC research to be published.
Engaging for Industry event at RMIT University
Research promotion was on the agenda this month at two high profile research and industry events.
12 February 2017 was amongst the most dangerous fire conditions in NSW history.
A year after some of the worst fire conditions ever experienced in NSW history, a new research report has found many people continue to underestimate the risk of fire.

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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