Views and Visions: Posts from our People

Chief Executive Officer
Jun
23

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NFPA Exhibition
NFPA Exhibition

International insight into fire protection

I was fortunate enough, earlier this month, to travel to Boston to attend the National Fire Protection Association Annual Conference and Expo. I spent most of my time in the wildfire streams. The reason I was there was because the FireWise team at NFPA, together with the NFPA Research Foundation, wanted to explore wildfire research topics with a group of international experts. I was invited from Australia, with representatives also present from South Africa, Canada, Chile, the UK, and Spain.

The NFPA conference and expo is a big event, with more than 300 exhibitors and around 3000 attendees across the many concurrent streams. It was a great opportunity to hear and learn from the insights of CALFIRE, with a renewed focus on prevention in the light of the impacts of drought and climate change. We also heard from the Canadians on what were the characteristics that led to house survival in the Fort McMurray fire.

The research workshop was notable in that all countries are dealing with an increase in the risk and impacts of climate change, with what used to be rare events are now the new normal. There was much talk about the generic approaches of FireWise and its applicability more generally. I think that most countries that have embraced it have modified it to meet their own needs. This make a lot of sense, with the broader landscape in which assets at risk need to be considered. Although FireWise is not used in Australia, many of our approaches are similar in many ways.

Although brief, it was a worthwhile trip, with a re-establishment of old friendships and an agreement to continue the discussions.

I cannot leave this blog without acknowledging the great losses we saw over the last few weeks, both in the Grenfell tower fire in London, and in the devastating bushfire in Portugal earlier this week. Our thoughts at the CRC are with all the family and friends of those affected. 

More by Richard Thornton

Blog posts on Views & Visions
2017
Author Post Key Topics
Dr Richard Thornton Halfway to delivering to the country emergency management, mitigation, multi-hazard
Dr Richard Thornton International insight into fire protection communities, engineering, fire impacts
Dr Richard Thornton Welcome to new staff and great events
Dr Richard Thornton 25 years of rural fire research in New Zealand fire, prescribed burning
Dr Richard Thornton Community at the top of the list all over the world emergency management, land management, prescribed burning
2016
Author Post Key Topics
Dr Richard Thornton A new research agenda coastal, governance, recovery
Dr Richard Thornton Still busy at the CRC emergency management, fire severity, prescribed burning
Dr Richard Thornton Conference highlights key issues for the sector cyclone, mitigation, multi-hazard
Dr Richard Thornton Three years on and the view turns to research use emergency management, land management
Dr Richard Thornton The RAF, the future and outreach emergency management, land management
Dr Richard Thornton An interesting week in Malaysia emergency management, flood, tropical
Dr Richard Thornton Inconvenient truth about disaster mitigation fuel reduction, mitigation, policy
Dr Richard Thornton Research must advance to keep us safe from natural hazards communication, communities, emergency management
2015
Author Post Key Topics
Dr Richard Thornton End of 2015 - the start of delivery
Dr Richard Thornton Insights from South Korea fire
Dr Richard Thornton Annual conference and new MoU
Dr Richard Thornton Happy second birthday to the CRC
Dr Richard Thornton CRC Program Review and New National Research Priorities
Dr Richard Thornton Important work on the national stage
Dr Richard Thornton It may feel like a quiet season, but don't get complacent communities, policy, risk management
Dr Richard Thornton Natural hazards—a wicked problem emergency management, multi-hazard, risk management
2014
Author Post Key Topics
Dr Richard Thornton Portugal conference and end of 2014
Dr Richard Thornton We need your help and support - CRC Program Review
Dr Richard Thornton Wow – what a week!
Dr Richard Thornton Addition of natural hazards to bushfire - a seemingly simple task?
Dr Richard Thornton Strategic and policy landscape
Dr Richard Thornton One year on
Dr Richard Thornton Back at work
Dr Richard Thornton It was just a year ago…
Dr Richard Thornton Thank you - now let's get started
2013
Author Post Key Topics
Dr Richard Thornton A year of establishment

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