Dr Sarah Harris

About
Dr Sarah Harris

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This project was commissioned and funded entirely by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria.
This project was commissioned and funded entirely by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria.
Research team:
This project was commissioned and funded entirely by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria.
Research team:
This project was commissioned and funded entirely by the Safer Together Program.
This project was commissioned and funded entirely by the Safer Together Program.
Research team:

Lead end user

Fire behaviour in dry eucalypt forests in Australia (and in many other vegetation types to a lesser extent) is characterised by the occurrence of spotfires—new fires ignited by the transport of burning debris such as bark ahead of an existing fire. Under most burning conditions, spotfires play little role in the overall propagation of a fire, except where spread is impeded by breaks in fuel or topography and spotfires allow these impediments to be overcome. However, under conditions of severe bushfire behaviour spotfire occurrence can be so prevalent that spotting becomes the dominant propagation mechanism and the fire spreads as a cascade of spotfires forming a ‘pseudo’ front. It has long been recognised that the presence of multiple individual fires affects the behaviour and spread of all fires present. The converging of separate individual fires into larger fires is called coalescence and can lead to rapid increases in fire intensity and spread rate, leading to the phenomenon of a ‘fire storm’. This coalescence effect is frequently used in prescribed burning, with multiple point ignitions used to rapidly burn out large areas.

The team has demonstrated the performance advantages of fire propagation models incorporating curvature dependence when applied to simple wind-driven fires at both laboratory and field scales. The research has also produced fundamental insights into how the shape of the fire line affects the dynamic behaviour of the fire as a whole. Coupled fire-atmosphere modelling was used to investigate how fire-induced air movements (pyroconvection) can produce significantly enhanced rates of spread for certain fire shapes.

This project was commissioned and funded entirely by the Safer Together Program.
Research team:
Yang Chen Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016
This study is using LiDAR to measure landscape-scale forest fuels in order to generate a time...
Modelling Forest Fuel Temporal Change Using LiDAR
18 Aug 2015
The primary option available to reduce fire risks to the community and the environment is through a...
Victoria Fire Weather Climatology Dataset - Overview and Outputs
18 Aug 2015
A high spatial and temporal resolution climatology of fire weather is important for fire management...

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 23 Nov 2018 A guide to develop bushfire case studies – a case study for cropland fires PDF icon Save (820.57 KB)
Presentation-Slideshow 11 Sep 2015 Victoria Fire Weather Climatology Dataset PDF icon Save (2.15 MB) fire weather

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