End User representatives
Prescribed burning in Australia currently stands at a crossroads. The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommended an annual treatment target of five percent of public land in Victoria. This was accepted, but in 2015 the target was removed by the Victorian Government.
Concurrently, some other states have adopted prescribed burning targets, but formal attempts to evaluate its effects on risk to people, property and environmental values across different jurisdictions are lacking. Such extrapolation of the 2009 Royal Commission recommendation presupposes that there is a ‘one-size fits all’ solution to the problem. While many agencies are moving toward planning systems supposedly based on risk assessment, knowledge of the best way to use prescribed fire to reduce risk to key values is generally lacking.
The project aims to deliver:
- A Prescribed Burning Atlas to guide implementation of tailor-madeprescribed burning strategies to suit the biophysical, climatic and human context of all bioregions across southern Australia. The Atlas will define the quantitative trajectory of risk reduction (including resultant residual risk) for multiple values (such as property, water, carbon, vegetation structure) in response to differing prescribed burning strategies (including spatial configurations and rates of treatment), across different Australian environments based on their unique climatic, biophysical and human characteristics.
- Continental-scale, biophysically-based models of ignition and fuel accumulation for Australian ecosystems, for use in dynamic risk management planning and operational decision-making about prescribed burning at seasonal and inter-annual time scales, accessible via the Atlas.
- Detailed scenarios of future change in risk mitigation effectiveness of prescribed burning strategies in response to integrated scenarios of changes to climate, fuel (including elevated CO2 effects) and ignitions. These will also be accessible through the Atlas.
Case study areas have been selected for fire spread simulations across southern Australia, based on the need to explore climatic, population and land use variation across the region.
While the initial focus has been on fire history, fire severity and a variety of layers needed to run the Phoenix RapidFire model, the project is also examining a broader range of biophysical datasets, which will inform both the simulation studies and also the empirical analyses. Simulations will be conducted, with the initial focus on peri-urban areas near Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart and the Gold Coast.
|2016||Journal Article||Resolving future fire management conflicts using multi-criteria decision making. Conservation Biology 30, 196-205 (2016).|
|2016||Report||From hectares to tailor-made solutions for risk mitigation: systems to deliver effective prescribed burning across Australian ecosystems: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).|
|2015||Journal Article||Biogeographical variation in the potential effectiveness of prescribed fire in south-eastern Australia. Journal of Biogeography 42, 2234-2245 (2015).|
|2015||Presentation||From hectares to tailor-made solutions for risk mitigation: systems to deliver effective prescribed burning across Australian ecosystems. (2015).|
|04 Dec 2014||From hectares to tailor-made solutions for prescribed burning||902.97 KB (902.97 KB)||mitigation, prescribed burning, risk management|
|11 Sep 2015||Hazard Reduction Burn Windows||875.51 KB (875.51 KB)||prescribed burning|
|02 Feb 2016||Research for better land management||133.76 KB (133.76 KB)||fuel reduction, land management, prescribed burning|
|24 Oct 2016||From hectares to tailor-made solutions for risk mitigation: systems to deliver effective prescribed burning across ecosystems||1.83 MB (1.83 MB)||fire, prescribed burning, risk management|
Although many jurisdictions are committed to prescribed burning, we do not understand its effects on risks to people, property and environmental values across Australia.
This project will deliver a prescribed burning atlas to guide implementation of ‘tailor-made’ prescribed burning strategies to suit the biophysical, climatic and human context of all bioregions across southern Australia
Bushfire management involves making decisions about complex issues that involve people, communities, stakeholders and organisations with many different perceptions and objectives.