End User representatives
September 2016 - this project has a new PhD opportunity to use new technology to monitor fire risk on Department of Defence land. Applications close 30 September 2016, see flyer below for more information
Understanding and predicting fire behaviour is a priority for fire agencies, land managers and sometimes individual businesses and residents. This is an enormous scientific challenge given bushfires are complex processes, with their behaviour and resultant severity driven by complicated interactions involving vegetation, topography and weather conditions.
A good understanding of fire risk acrossthe landscape is critical in preparing and responding to bushfires and managing fire regimes, and this understanding will be enhanced by remote sensing data. However, the vast array of spatial data sources available is not being used very effectively in fire management.
This project uses cutting edge technology and imagery to produce spatial information on fire hazard and impacts needed by planners, land managers and emergency services to manage fire at landscape scales. The group works closely with agencies to better understand their procedures and information needs, comparing these with the spatial data and mapping methods that are readily available, and developing the next generation of mapping technologies to help them prepare and respond to bushfires.
The project is focused on two related activities:
- Fire hazard mapping and monitoring – this focuses on spatial information of fuel load, structure and moisture properties that can assist fire preparedness through better fire danger ratings and fire behaviour predictions. This supports logistics and resources planning by emergency services, and can also improve fire management by helping guide activities such as scheduling and implementing prescribed burning. Discussions between researchers and end-users indicate that the greatest and most urgent information gap is spatial information on forest fuel load, structure and moisture.
- Fire impacts on landscape values - land managers also need spatial information on the expected fire impacts on landscape values, such as water resources, carbon storage, habitat and remaining fuel load. Relevant issues include the impact of unplanned or prescribed fires and subsequent recovery on catchment water yield and the carbon lost due to fire and then subsequently taken up during regeneration. Current prediction methods are crude and make bold assumptions (for example, about the similarity of the water use patterns between [well-studied] recovering mountain ash forests and [unstudied] other forest types).
The project has made progress in developing a model framework. It has also developed and tested a new software tool to automatically derive detailed vegetation structure information from groundbased LiDAR, and has maintained good engagement with end-users.
Two workshops were held with operational stakeholders and other researchers to communicate progress on the research goals and material has been disseminated in two journal papers and other publications, 15 conference papers, blogs and other media.
|21 Mar 2014||Monitoring and prediction||7.35 MB (7.35 MB)||flood, modelling, multi-hazard|
|04 Dec 2014||Mapping bushfire hazard and impact||1.44 MB (1.44 MB)||fire impacts, land management, planning|
|03 Apr 2016||Monitoring and prediction - cluster overview||0 bytes (0 bytes)||forecasting, multi-hazard, scenario analysis|
|24 Oct 2016||Mapping bushfire hazard and impact||1.81 MB (1.81 MB)||fire impacts, modelling, remote sensing|
|28 Nov 2016||Monitoring and predicting natural hazards||853.18 KB (853.18 KB)||forecasting, modelling, severe weather|
A good understanding of fire risk across the landscape is critical in preparing and responding to bushfire events and managing fire regimes, and this will be enhanced by remote sensing data. However, the vast array of spatial data sources available is not being used very effectively in fire management.
This project uses cutting edge technology and imagery to produce spatial information on fire hazard and impacts needed by planners, land managers and emergency services to effectively manage fire at landscape scales
Australia is a dry continent, with high climate variability, and is continually vulnerable to natural hazards like bushfires. to better evaluate and reduce the risk of bushfires, fire management agencies and land managers need timely, accurate and spatially explicit understorey fuel metrics along with climatic and other spatial topographical information. The Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data and technology is a proven alternative to traditionally time consuming and labour intensive fuel assessment methods.
|Mapping bushfire hazard and impacts||Prof Albert van Dijk||Australian National University|
|Disaster landscape attribution: thermal anomaly surveillance and hazard mapping, data scaling and validation||Prof Simon Jones||RMIT University|
|Improving flood forecast skill using remote sensing data||Assoc Prof Valentijn Pauwels||Monash University|
|Fire spread prediction across fuel types||Prof Graham Thorpe||Victoria University|