Events

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AFAC 15 begins in Adelaide
AFAC 15 begins in Adelaide
Date
01 Sep 2015

2015 Adelaide annual conference

More than 1500 people heard the latest in natural hazards science at our annual conference and Research Forum in Adelaide (1-3 September 2015).

The Research Forum encourages intensive discussion and interaction among the delegates. The day was not just for scientists - it was a great opportunity for emergency management personnel and end users to learn about the current research and connect with researchers.

Many more Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC researchers spoke on the main conference program on the Wednesday and Thursday, complemented by agency and industry speakers. In total, the week saw almost 100 presentations, along with six personal development programs and field trips.

The delegates discussed the latest challenges and trends in emergency management at the region’s major all hazards conference.

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) and Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC annual conference featured leading national and international speakers over four days under the theme New Directions in Emergency Management.

Download Conference Proceedings

Download Proceedings

PDF Version: The Proccedings have been published in a PDF for reference and citation and are available from the CRC publications collection.

Online Versions: All the speaker slides, extended abstracts, and more than 100 posters are available to download through the [tabs] on this page below.

Conference website: For copies of the program or other conference materials, please visit the conference website.


Venue

Related

Anthony Blake from the Pacific Island Emergency Management Alliance, with the CRC's Vaia Smirneos.
11 September, 2015 | Anthony Blake from the Pacific Island Emergency Management Alliance in Fiji was our lucky winner of a professional quality first aid kit at the annual conference in Adelaide.

Keynote talk by Dr Rowan Douglas, CEO Capital Science & Policy Practice, Willis Group
11 September, 2015 | A bumper crowd of more than 1500 were on hand in Adelaide in the first week of September for our annual conference with AFAC.

Dr Mark Finney from the US Forest Service delivers the opening keynote his new fire behaviour research at the 2015 Research Forum.
11 September, 2015 | All the research papers from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference are now available in full.

The CRC signed an MOU with NZ's Natural Hazards Research Platform
11 September, 2015 | Natural hazards research findings will continue to flow between Australia and New Zealand under a new agreement.

Kevin Ronan receives award from Richard Thornton
8 September, 2015 | Prof Kevin Ronan from CQUniversity has been awarded the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award.

AFAC CEO Stuart Ellis and Harvey Stockbridge, Managing Director of Hannover Fairs Australia
2 September, 2015 | A new partnership involving the CRC will bring the latest emergency services equipment and technology from around the globe to the Australasian region in 2016.

AFAC 15 begins in Adelaide
17 August, 2015 | More than 400 researchers, emergency managers, volunteers and industry representatives are on hand for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC all-hazards Research Forum in Adelaide starting today, 1 September.

Conference registrations are now open
15 June, 2015 | June 26, the closing date for the early bird registrations for the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference is rapidly approaching.

Chair of the AFAC15 conference committee Chris Beattie (SA SES) launches the 2015 program
29 April, 2015 | New venues in Adelaide will hold the annual Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference in the first week of September.

Conference registrations are now open
11 March, 2015 | Registrations are now open for the 2015 Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC annual conference, this year taking place in Adelaide from 1-4 September. Book before June 26 to take advantage of the earlybird discount.

Conference registrations are now open
16 February, 2015 | Due to ongoing operational activity across the country, the abstract deadline for the AFAC and Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC conference has been extended until Monday 23 February.

Conference registrations are now open
11 December, 2014 | Submit your abstract for the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC annual conference now.

Year Type Citation
2015 Conference Paper Douglas, G., He, Y., Xiang, Y. & Morris, E. The role of extreme value analysis to enhance defendable space for construction practice and planning in bushfire prone environments - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Janekovic, I., Hetzel, Y. & Pattiaratchi, C. Improved modeling of extreme storm surges and waves along the Australian coast - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Koschatzky, V., de Oliveira, F. Dimer & Somerville, P. An earthquake loss scenario for Adelaide - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Gibbs, L. et al. Risk and protection factors for bushfire resilience and recovery - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Wahalathantri, B., Lokuge, W., Karunasena, W. & Setunge, S. Framework to inspect floodways towards estimating damage - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Neale, T. & Weir, J. Science in motion: knowledge practices and prescribed burning in southwest Victoria - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Wright, D. et al. Improved assessment of grassland fuels in multiple jurisdictions across Australia. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Gissing, A., Haynes, K., Coates, L. & Keys, C. How do we reduce vehicle related deaths: exploring Australian flood fatalities 1900-2015 - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Jones, R., Young, C. & Symons, J. Risk ownership and natural hazards: across systems and across values - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Parackal, K. I., Mason, M. S., Henderson, D. J., Smith, D. J. & Ginger, J. D. Investigation of damage: Brisbane 27 November 2014 sever storm event - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Thurston, W., Tory, K. J., Fawcett, R. J. B. & Kepert, J. D. Large-eddy simulations of pyro-convection and its sensitivity to environmental conditions - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Hunt, S. Implementing policy for enabling disaster resilience in the Australian federation: what role for government? - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Choy, S. et al. How will the new satellite navigation systems help with the provision of information and warnings? - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Clarke, H. & Kenny, B. Understanding present and future bushfire hazard reduction burn windows in NSW - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2015 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Hoult, R. D., Goldsworthy, H. M. & Lumantarna, E. Improvements and difficulties associated with seismic assessment of infrastructure in Australia - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Steer, K., Beloglazov, A., Abebe, E. & Almashor, M. A bushfire evacuation planning service utilising multiple simulation systems - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Redshaw, S., Ingham, V., Harrison, K., Quigley, T. & Newton, K. Shared responsibility - shades of grey - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper McRae, R. H. D., Sharples, J. J., Fromm, M. & Kablick, G. Linking local wildfire dynamics to pyroCB development - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Foley, M., Peace, M., Griffiths, D., Sofra, J. & Kepert, J. D. The Sydney 2014 forecast demonstration project - a step from research to operations - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Li, Y., Grimaldi, S., Pauwels, V., Walker, J. & Wright, A. Combining hydrologic and hydraulic models for real time flood forecasting - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Harris, S. et al. Victoria fire weather climatology dataset - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Sangha, K. et al. Developing enterprise opportunities and resilience in remote north Australian communities - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Rahman, M. et al. Bringing hazard and economic modellers together: a spatial platform for damage and losses visualisation - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Skeffington, P., Rees, C., Mazzucchelli, T. & Kane, R. Developing a targeted resilience intervention for the primary prevention of PTSD - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Bunker, D., Sleigh, T., Levine, L. & Ehnis, C. Disaster management: building resilient systems to aid recovery - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Cao, C. Yinghui, Boruff, B. J. & McNeill, I. Mapping it out: a user-centred design framework for WebGIS public warnings - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Edwards, A. C., Russell-Smith, J., Sangha, K. & Yates, C. P. Culturally appropriate mapping tools for informing two-way fire management planning in remote indigenous north Australian communities - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Newman, J. et al. A decision support framework for multi-hazard mitigation planning - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper McLennan, B. J., Whittaker, J. & Handmer, J. The future of 'non-traditional' emergency volunteering: what will it look like and how can it work? - Peer reviewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Taylor, M., McCarthy, M. & Eustace, G. The integration of informal volunteers into animal emergency management: experiences from the 2015 South Australian bushfires - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Every, D. "We've got trouble getting around but we're still alright": disability identities and the implications for bushfire planning - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Kumar, V. & Dharssi, I. Verification of soil moisture from land surface models and traditional soil dryness indices - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
The probability of bushfire ignition in Victoria

Assessing bushfire risk requires an understanding of both fire spread and ignition. This project investigates the probability of bushfire ignition in space and time to assist in risk forecasting and operational decision making. A logistic regression model will make use of weather, topography and vegetation to produce probability maps for ignition.

Navigating scientific uncertainty in bushfire and flood risk mitigation

Attempts to anticipate and mitigate natural hazards have generated a diverse field of natural science that is drawn upon by a wide range of practitioners and decision-makers. Uncertainty is a necessary part of scientific practice, but how can we navigate it?

Planned burn mapping in Victoria using remote sensing

The Victorian government is committed to expanding its fuel management program, and to report on the effectiveness of planned burning and reducing bushfire risk. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Primary Industries (DELWP) has identified the need to improve current approaches to burn extent and severity mapping. The project will explore improved remote sensing and field data methods for capturing, analysing, and reporting on burn extent and severity.

Scoping remote North Australian community resilience

"Why yous mob only want to talk about big disasters, us mob are vulnerable to small ones too" - community perspectives about disaster resilience in Gunbalanya in the NT.

Remote sensing of tree structure and biomass in north Australia mesic savanna

This PhD research aims to develop and assess methods, using stereo satelitte imagery and laser scanning data, to extract 3D tree biophysical structural parameters for the purposes of accurately estimating biomass/carbon stocks in NT mesic savannas.

Understanding progressive failures to wind load

This study will determine the load redistribution and progressive failure mechanisms of houses to severe wind events. Outcomes will enable the design and construction of more resilient structural systems and techniques for retrofitting existing structures.

Mapping forest fuel load and structure from airborne LiDAR data

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.

Economic Analysis of Prescribed Burning for Wildfire Management in the South West of Western Australia

This thesis explores the application of economic analysis to wildfire management and aims to evaluate trade-offs between prescribed burning, wildfire suppression and wildfire damages.

Using Automated Fuel Moisture Sensors to Plan Prescribed Burns

DELWP is trialing a statewide Automated Fuel Moisture Monitoring Network (AFMMN) to improve the planned burn program. We conducted a preliminary assessment of AFMMN data as a tool for decision making by fire managers planning prescribed burns.

An Evidence-Based Practice Framework for Children's Disaster Education

Disaster education for children has been identified as a key stragety for increasing disaster resilience. In Australia, comprehensive, evidence-based guidance for the development and implementation of quality education programmes is lacking. This framework, underpinned by current research in the field, aims to provide emergency service agencies and other stakeholders with a good practice approach to developing education programmes that foster children's capacities for building resilience.

Including Land Value in Hazard Mitigation Planning

Land use policies hold the greatest long-term risk reduction potential but are under-utilised.

Disaster landscape attribution

Understanding the utility of thermal remote sensing systems for active fire detection and monitoring. Exploring issues of scale, accuracy and reliability through simulations and field validation.

The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index: Assessing the Resilience of Australian Communities to Natural Hazards

Resilient communities are better able to anticipate hazards, withstand adversity, reduce losses and recover From natural hazard events. The Australian natural disaster resilience index is a system of indicators that WILL assess and report the resilience of Australian communities to natural hazards.

Disaster Landscape Attribution Monitoring Changes in Burnt Understorey Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning

This research monitors changes in understorey fuel hazards for up to 2 years post-burn using terrestrial laser scanning. This provides quantitative estimates of fire impact on the landscape including immediate fire effects, post-burn fuel accumulation and prescribed burn effectiveness.

Bushfire Spatial Data Models and Ignition Data Project

Integration of bushfire and planned burn ignition and fire history datasets.

Power to the People: Implications of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) for Official Emergency Management (OEM)

VGI refers to the creation and sharing of geographic information by community members, mainly through social media, smartphones and online mapping tools. VGI represents a shift in the ways  information is created, shared, used and experienced. Detailed interviews with 13 emergency management professionals from 8 organisations across 5 Australian states provided insights into the impacts of VGI on OEM.

We Have Not Lived Long Enough: Making Sense and Learning from Bushfire In Australia

Organisations increasingly find themselves responding to unprecedented natural disasters that are expereinced as complex, unpredictable, and harmful. This study examines how organisations understood and learned from these novel experiences by examining three Australian bushfires. My study shows how sensemaking and learning occurred during public inquires that followed these events, and how learning continued in emergency management organisations.

Children and Youth in Disasters: A Co-Produced Program of Research

Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters.  The world health organisation estimates that 30-50% of disaster fatalities are children.  They are also most vulnerable to psychosocial impacts.  However, preliminary research and the new Sendai Framework also identifies them as community “drivers” of change for reducing current and future disaster risks and increasing community resilience.

Delivering Effective Prescribed Burning Across Southern Australia

Although many jurisdictions are committed to prescribed burning, we do not understand its effects on risks to people, property and environmental values across Australia.

A Mw 9.0 Adelaide Earthquake Scenario

What-if a magnitude 6.0 earthquake happened near Adelaide SA? IN this project we have developed such scenario by using Risk Frontiers earthquake loss model QuakeAUS to calculate losses to property, infrastructure and casualties.

Disaster landscape Attribution: Attributing Active Fire Using Simulated Fire Landscapes

Active fires are inscreasingly being identified using satellite remote sensing to determine their size and severity. Verifying the information derived from the wide variety of different sensors and their associated fire algorithms can be a challenging task.

Decision Making, Team Monitoring and Organisational Learning

This Project aims to provide enhanced ways of:

  • Making decisions in complex situations
  • Monitoring teams to detect problems
  • Learning from operational performance
Initiation of Smouldering Combustion in Biomass

Smoulder is a type of slow, low-temperature combustion of relevance to bushfires. It occurs both in pre-fire and post-fire stages. Many fires are caused by smouldering fire; once ignited, smouldering often lasts for days or weeks and can turn into flaming combustion.

Towards Culturally Appropriate Fire Management in the Waanyi and Garawa Lands

Culturally appropriate frameworks for Bushfire and Natural Hazards management are critical to establishing resilience in remote Indigenous communities. A Collaboration with the Waanyi and garawa people of the south-west Gulf of Carpentaria is an opportunity to develop a regional case study.

Disaster Landscape Attribution: Low Cost 3D Monitoring of Fuel Hazard

In the last decade A range of sensing technologies, techniques and platforms have emerged to capture 3D structural information. This project explores these systems as alternative quantitative solutions to traditional fuel hazard and fire severity evaluations. 

Seismic Assessment and Design Philosophy of Reinforced Concrete Walls in Australia

The focus of this research is to assess the performance of existing reinforced conrete (RC) wall and core buildings in response to a rare or very rare earthquake event in Australia. Ultimately, fragility functions for different performance objectives will be derived and cost-effective detailing provisions will be recommended.

Insuring Agaisnt Disasters: Minimising Perverse Incentives and Promoting Mitigation

Encouraging insurers to share and communicate bushfire risk with policy holders.

Understanding How Dynamic Exposure Affects Risk by Using a Land Use Model

Building on the evaluation of risk: incorporating the evolution of hazard risk over time with dynamic modelling of exposure.

What Factors Contribute to Better and Worse Mental Health in Firefighters

This project aims to investigate which individual, operational and organisational factors contribute most to the wellbeing of career and volunteer firefighters.

Social Media: the Difference Between Public Expectation and the Ability to Blame at Law when Expectations are not Met?

There are high public expectations for warning and risk communication during emergencies, they include the expectation that social media will be adopted. Yet the extent of the legal requirement to warn and use social media is uncertain? Equally in utilising social media to push and pull information, legal issues can arise? This thesis investigates some of the issues. 

Evaluation of Operational Models for Wind Variability Over Complex Terrain

Understanding the variability of wind speed and direction across complex terrain is a vital part of understanding volatile fire behaviour. A probabilistic characterisation of wind fields can complement the current deterministic approaches to enhance discussion of uncertainties in the modelling process.

Building Resilient Communities: Creating Effective Multi-Channel Communication During Disaster Response and Recovery

Our aim is to examine evidence-based strategies to motivate appropriate action and increase informed decision-making during the response and recovery phases of disasters. We combine expertise in communication, consumer psychology and marketing, disaster and emergency management, and law.

Is 'Resilience' the Same as 'Adaptation'?

Flooding is Australia's most expensive natural hazard. Climate change scenarios predict increasing flood intensity and frequency.  This potentially exposes Australia to greater damages in the future, making flood management key to improving adaptive capacity. This research explores whether ‘resilience’ strategies will result in outcomes that are truly adaptive.

Cost Effective Suppression on Campaign Fires

This project seeks to determine what type and level of suppression resources are required for successful containment of campaign fires under a given set of fire weather, fuel, and topographic conditions.

How Risk Informs Emergency Management: A Study of the Interface Between Risk Modelling for Tsunami Inundation and Emergency Management Policies and Procedures

A tsunami generated by an earthquake within the Hikurangi Subduction Margin is probably a candidate for the most destructive tsunami New Zealand is to encounter. And this is not New Zealand’s risk alone; destructive tsunamis of this scale are also a major risk to Australia’s coast. However surveys have shown that understanding of tsunami risk and correct warning-response action is limited, and that there is a considerable distance to go to ensure adequate awareness and preparedness of individuals and communities.

Impact of Vegetation Regrowth on Wind Direction Over Complex Terrain

Modelling wind direction can be recast in probabilistic terms using wind response distributions. The impacts of vegetation regrowth on wind direction response can then be investigated using statistical comparison techniques.

Long-Range Spotting by Bushfire Plumes: The Effects of In-Plume Turbulence on Firebrand Trajectory

Large-eddy simulations of bushfire plumes are combined with firebrand trajectory calculations to estimate the effects of in-plume turbulence on firebrand transport.  In-plume turbulence  substantially lengthens the maximum spotting distance AND increases the lateral and longitudinal spread of firebrand landing positions.

Improving flood forecasting skills using remote sensing data: precipitation retrieval

Accurate, timely and precise forecast precipitation is the "Holy Grail" of flood forecasting; this project aims to use observation constrained hydrologic models to estimate precipitation.

Communicating Dynamic Risk in a Connected World; Perceptions and Possibilities

Bushfires and natural hazards are a dynamic risk where risk levels are unpredictable and more likely to change or fluctuate quickly. They are also often systemic and can result in unanticipated outcoms. Communication in this area is crucial and is only effective if it is based upon a broader understanding of how people respond to dynamic risk and why.

Sources of Soil Dryness Measures and Forecasts

Emerging new approaches to evaluate landscape dryness through the use of satellite remote sensing data, land surface modelling and data assimilation techniques are available, measuring dryness more systematically than the empirical methods. Satellite measurements can be blended with land surface model simulations to provide more accurate, detailed and confident estimates and forecasts of land dryness.

Spatial Variability After Prescribed Burning: Effects on Vegetation and Soil Properties

Optimisation of prescribed burning requires a strong understanding of the underlying variability of fuel, vegetation and soil.

The Interactions Between Emergency Responders and Animal Owners in Bushfire: Improving Community Preparedness and Response Outcomes

The purpose of this study is to develop best practice methods for preparedness and response practices in a bushfire hazard, with the aim of enhancing community well-being and safety. Effective collaboration between animal owners, emergency responders and the whole of community could be one way to narrow the gap between hazard awareness and hazard survival. 

Modelling Forest Fuel Temporal Change Using LiDAR

The primary option available to reduce fire risks to the community and the environment is through a modification of fuel availability (e.g. fuel reduction burnings). The development of accurate and reliable methods to quantify forest fuel characteristics and to understand forest fuel change over time is an ongoing requirement of government, fire authorities and land management agencies. LiDAR is proposed to measure landscape-scale forest fuels in order to generate a time effective, feasible and objective method for forest fuel hazard assessment.

Risk Reduction and Resilience Education: Recommendations for Scaling Up. Views from Indonesia

Nearly one third of the world's population are children. However, much disaster management programming sees children as passive participants, leaving them out of the planning and decision making process.

Developing Better Predictions and Forecasts for Extreme Water Levels Around Australia

The occurrence of extreme water levels can lead to loss of life and damage to coastal infrastructure. To better prepare, coastal engineers, emergency managers and planners require accurate estimates of extreme water levels.

Does the Use of Information Sources Lead to Better Hazard Preparedness?

In two studies amongst residents of bushfire and flood prone areas we examined whether residents who actively use brochures, websites, and/or go to community information sessions to prepare, end up preparing more than those who do not use these sources. The studies supported this, but also showed that the majority of the sample did not use any information sources to prepare for bushfires and floods.

Realistic Disaster Scenarios: Severe Tropical Cyclone SE QLD

What if a category 4 tropical cyclone impacted south east Queensland? What would the impacts be? Could our emergency services cope? strong cyclones have come close to the densely populated south east of Queensland, but impacts have been limited. this will not always be the case. This project explores the impacts of a severe tropical cyclone on the region and asks, can these impacts be forecast?

Flood Damage Assessment in Urban Areas

Statistical analyses shows the considerable impacts of flood risk compared to other types of natural hazards. In recent decades, the flood risk due to climate change and the growth in value and vulnerability of exposed properties has been increasing exponentially. The research proposed in this project will focus on quantifying the flood risks and performing a flood damage assessment for a case study area within Australia

Improving Flood Forecasting Skill Using Remote Sensing Data - Hydrological Component

Flood forecasts suffer from various SOURCES of uncertainties. This project investigates the benefit of using remotely sensed soil moisture data for hydrological model calibration and updating. A real-time forecasting system constrained by soil moisture and flow data is being developed.

Would You Drive Through Flood Water?

Floods are the second highest cause of death from natural hazard events in Australia following extreme heat. Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC research has so far uncovered 1874 flood fatalities between 1900-2015. This data shows a growing number of fatalities associated with vehicles entering floodwaters, particularly 4WDs.

Economics of Natural Hazards: Integrated Assessment

How can we get the best value for money from public investments in natural hazard management? This project integrates technical, biophysical, socioeconomic and policy information to address key decision problems relating to natural hazard prevention and mitigation.

Learning Together: Cross Cultural Emergency Management Training for Northern Australia

This project develops BNH Training built on learnings from BNHCRC research and tailored to North Australian needs. It employs a didactic approach to build understanding of differing world views about fire and emergency management. Its delivery mode is designed to increase levels of competence, confidence and resilience, particularly in remote regions.

Smoke Plume Injection into the Atmosphere and Subsequent Pyrocumulus 'Blow-Up'
  • Fire influences climates through emission of gas and particles into the atmosphere.
  • Advances in geospatial technology have permitted analysis of fire dynamics.
  • Tasmania experienced severe fires in January 2013 that burnt ca. 120,000 ha of forested and urban landscapes.
  • Dunalley town was the worst affected, where a convective column and  ember storms were observed.
Refinement and Validation of Firebrand Transport Sub Model for a Physics Based Bushfire Prediction Model: Design of  a Firebrand Generator

Firebrands are burning pieces of, for example, bark, leaf litter, and twigs. Firebrands can be transported by wind from metres to kilometres from the head fire. Firebrands are responsible for causing spot fires during the spread of bushfire. Firebrands are the primary factor in house loss during bushfire.

Towards the Assimilation of AMSR2 Soil Moisture and Vegetation Data for Natural Hazard Monitoring and Prediction

This project aims to improve the estimation of landscape moisture through the assimilation of AMSR2 derived near surface soil moisture and vegetation moisture content. Prior to assimilation, the AMSR2 observations must be quality controlled and bias corrected. The first step of this project is validating the AMSR2 observations against  ground based measurements.

Improving Fire Risk Estimation through Investigating Fire Intensity, Moisture and Temperature Anomalies

The accuracy of FDI's are largely dependent on their input variables and advancements in remote sensing are yet to be utilized to improve accuracy and scalability. This study aims to address this through the use of remotely sensed data of soil moisutre, fire radiative power, temperature and precipitation. In doing so, combining risk with likely fire intensity.

Community Understanding of the Tsunami Risk and Warning Systems in Australian Communities

The Eastern Australian coastline faces some 8,000km of active tectonic plate boundary capable of generating tsunami that could reach Australia in 2-4 hours. The risk to coastal areas is substantial. For example, in New South Wales, some 330,000 people live at or below a height of 10 metres above sea-level and within 1km of the coast/coastal river. Recognition of this risk promoted development of the Australian tsunami warning system (ATWS).

Rainforests on Fire: Assessing Bushfire Risk in Tasmania's Wet Forest Types

A proposal to calibrate the Phoenix RapidFire prediction model for Tasmania's wet forest types to better assess future bushfire risk and to improve model performance.

Child-Centred Disaster Risk Reduction: Achievements, Challenges, and Scope

Child centred-disaster risk reduction (CC-DRR) is  defined as disaster risk reduction measures for and with children, involving children, parents, communities, service providers and governments (Unicef, 2014). Emerging as a distinct approach to disaster risk reduction over the last several years, CC-DRR advocates a shift from seeing children as passive victims to seeing them as agents of change for their own well-being and the development of their communities (Benson & Bugge, 2007).

Modelling the Fire Weather of the Blue Mountains Fires of October 2013

High resolution simulations over the Blue Mountains Region on 17 October 2013 show several interesting meteorological features.

Victorian Bushfire Risk Management Research: A Collaboration Between the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC

The increasing number and severity of bushfires impacting Victoria highlights the need for bushfire management agencies to continually consider and improve practices. As an organisation DELWP has history of initiating research and using scientific evidence to innovate an inform decision making with a risk based framework. In 2013 DELWP established a Bushfire Science Strategy to assist it in becoming more effective at learning and to guide its approach to bushfire science. As part of this strategy DELWP undertake a broad range of research projects.

Meteorological Tsunamis along the Australian Coastline

Meteotsunamis incur damage on coasts all over the world. As they are more likely to occur than geophysical tsunamis, it has resulted in many coastal probelms in Australia in the lack of presence of efficient public awareness systems. Identifying where and when meteotsunamis pose a threat will aid coastal management and planning.

Improving the Resilience of Existing Housing to Severe Wind Events

Many of us live in homes with vulnerabilities that contribute to community wind risk. This project aims to investigate windstorm risk mitigation by: (A) Developing vulnerability models for structural strength of housing from field and laboratory observations, and (B) Evaluating potential upgrading and retrofitting solutions for residential structures.

Weather Science to Societal Impact: Opportunities for Australia in the World Meteorological Organisation's High Impact Weather Project

The Bureau of Meteorology seeks Australian collaborators to participate in a new 10-year international high impact weather project to develop improved hazard prediction capabilities. Its aims align on an international level with those of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.

Business and Economic Exposure Information Framework

Ready access to information improves business resilience. The same type of information can be used to identify business vulnerability and to perform an economic impact assessment in the event of a natural disaster. This framework identifies the types and sources of information to perform economic analysis. As an outcome, it equally identifies the gaps in the existing datasets.

Improving Flood Forecast Skill Using Remote Sensing Data - Hydraulic Component

Accurate flood forecast is essential to save lives and reduce damages.How far can we get using remote sensing data to calibrate and constrain in real time a Coupled Hydrologic - hydraulic model?

Victoria Fire Weather Climatology Dataset - Overview and Outputs

A high spatial and temporal resolution climatology of fire weather is important for fire management planning. A homogeneous 41-year (1972–2012) hourly 4-km gridded climate data set for the fireprone state of Victoria, Australia has been generated. The dataset includes temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, FFDI, and daily DF and KBDI. This unique data set provides an almost limitless opportunity for hitherto unavailable analyses such as - identifying optimal prescribed burning windows and developing regionally relevant scenarios for bushfire management plans.

A Twelve Step Program Towards Safety Redemption in Emergency Management

The journey towards a mature system for managing safety has previously been imagined as a 'ladder' that organisations need to climb. Our research suggests there are twelve steps on this ladder for an organisation to achieve 'safety redemption'.

Flow Prediction Through Canopies

A simple model of flow through a tree canopy and comparison with large-eddy simulations.

Capturing the Impact of the Failure of Critical Road Structures on the Community

How does the performance of critical road structures such as bridges, culverts and floodways affect the community they serve; before, during and after the occurrence of a natural disaster?

Managing Animals in Disasters (MAiD): Improving Preparedness, Response, and Resilience through Individual and Organisational Collaboration

The Managing Animals in Disasters project (MAiD) is seeking to identify and build best practice approaches to animal emergency management to enable engagement with animal owners and other stakeholders in disasters and emergencies.

Implementing Policy for Enabling Disaster Resilience: Making it Happen in a Federal System

Disaster resilience policy is being implemented via a range of programs and activities across Australia. Effective implementation is a critical factor for ensuring successful policy outcomes and requires greater attention

An Emprical Model for Assessing Daily Bushfire Community Smoke Exposure Over Large Geographic Areas

The Smoke Impacts project has three major streams.
(1) Assessing direct health impacts of exposure to bushfire smoke in clinical studies;
(2) Evaluating community perceptions of planned burn and bushfire smoke; and
(3) Evaluating novel ways of measuring smoke exposure over wide geographic areas for use in epidemiological studies. Parts (1) and (2) have been presented previously. Here we present results from part (3).

Volunteering Challenges for Emergency Services

Australian emergency services face a range of contemporary challenges, including the ongoing availability and effective utilization of a skilled volunteer workforce. Volunteers are the lifeblood of Australian emergency services and play a vital role in mitigating the human, financial and environmental losses from a range of natural hazards. Emergency services volunteers constitute a highly unique workforce that may be negatively impacted by changing social norms.

Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Buildings in Australia

This poster present research activities undertaken in the University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology towards assessment of seismic vulnerability of buildings in Australia. The activities contributes to BHNCRC Project aimed to develop risk mitigation and retrofitting strategies for the most vulnerable Australian buildings subject to earthquakes.

Nature Abhors Curvature - Fires Included! Modelling Spot Fire Coalescence

Spotting can be the dominant fire propagation mechanism during times of extreme fire weather. Spot fires can merge and collapse on one another creating regions of deep flaming, which produce violent pyroconvection. Understanding and modelling the intrinsic dynamics of spot fire coalescence is an important step in providing ways of mitigating the effects of extreme fires.

Mapping Bushfire Hazard and Impact

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

Resilience to Clustered Disaster Events on the Coast - Storm Surge

The aim of the project is to develop a new method to quantify the potential hazard associated with coincident and clustered disaster events on the coast, with an initial focus on storms that erode and reshape the coastline and impact on buildings and infrastructure. To date, a range of baseline data has been identified and collected for two study sites where eroision is an active management issue; Adelaide metropolitan beaches (SA) and Old Bar (NSW mid-north coast).

Forecasting Smoke Emissions and Transport - Addressing the Knowledge Gaps

A numerical forecasting system is being developed for smoke management in Victoria. Underpinning the system are observation studies which target specific knowledge gaps. 

1) The spatial and combustion characteristics of coarse heavy shrub and bark fuels\

2) The emission rates of the key smoke constitutents

3) The use of remote sensed fire radiative power to characterise heat release

Network Centric Emergency Management: Options for Filling a Strategic Void in Interoperability Thinking

The Problem: Traditional emergency management approaches are linear and siloed and not agile enough to meet today's complex and dynamic environment. Organisations endeavour to become interoperable, however with the current thinking, this simply moves the solution from one silo to another. A strategic void exists within interoperability thinking and without collaborative innovation and a network centric approach, emergency management practices will continue to lack the agility and capability to respond and recover effectively from dynamic and evolving threats.

Disruption of Critical Infrastructure during National Disasters

To understand how components of our built environment and society will fare during a disaster, knowledge is first needed on the interconnectedness of network systems and the role each component plays.

Out of Uniform: Building Community Resilience Through Non-Traditional Emergency Volunteering

The public is usually first on the scene in an emergency or disaster and remain long after official services have ceased. Citizen participation is a key principle of disaster risk reduction and resilience building. However, emergency management relies largely on volunteers affiliated with official agencies and a comparatively smaller workforce of paid staff. Individuals and groups working outside of this system have often been seen as a nuisance or liability, and their efforts are largely undervalued.

Failure Mechanism of a Typical Girder Bridge in Australia due to Seismic Loads

There is a significant need to perform adequate assessment of the vulnerability of bridges and bridge networks prior to future seismic events in Australia. This study aims to identify the failure mechanism of a typical girder bridge in Australia due to a seismic event and develop an earthquake management methodology based on a probabilistic based approach.

Meteorology of the Sampson Flat Fire in January 2015

In January 2015, the Sampson flat bushfire burnt in the Adelaide hills. it was active for 6 days, burning 12,500 ha, 27 homes, numerous sheds and 900 animals. This study focuses on the meteorological conditions on the day of ignition Friday 2 January. the major fire run occurred the following day.

Influence of Fire Regime Variables and Growth Stage Distributions on Biodiviersity in Victorian Foothills Forest

The Foothills Fire and Biota project aims to enhance understanding of the relationships between fire and biodiversity in the foothills forests, and hence inform fire management. Large, intense fires occur periodically in this system, while less-severe/smaller fires and planned burns occur more frequently.
In these analyses, we examined the relative influence of fire regime parameters on biota, as well as examining the proportional distribution of vegetation growth stages (time since fire categories) that maximise geometric mean abundance of species

Community-Led Bushfire Preparedness in Action: The Case of Be Ready Warrandyte

Be Ready Warrandyte (BRW) was an award-winning, community-led bushfire preparedness project instigated by community members and coordinated by the Warrandyte Community Association from May 2012 to June 2015. Its goal was “to have more Warrandyte households with effective bushfire plans”. It involved close collaboration between community volunteers, local governments and the Country Fire Authority (CFA).

Economics of Natural Hazards: Valuing Intangibles

Natural disasters impact many things that people value: life, health, belongings, poprerty, essential services and the environment. Quantifying the cost of a natural disaster or the benefit from mitigation often excludes some of these things, because their values are not easily measureable.

Redesigning leadership by addressing basic volunteer needs

Volunteer retention is a prevailing challenge to emergency response organisations. Volunteers in some agencies will only serve for an average of 2 years. The implications of high turnover means there is a continuous burden of cost for basic training, with little performance return. 

Cost-effective mitigation strategy development for flood prone buildings

The main objective of this research is to develop cost-effective strategies to mitigate damage to residential buildings from riverine floods. The research will provide evidence-based retrofit strategies for decisions concerning the buildings with the greatest vulnerability in Australian communities.

Application of the single microtremor method to the Adelaide's Regolith

The single microtremor method has been applied to Adelaide's regolith which exhibits low impedance contrast between the upper and bedrock layers. Preliminary findings show that the predominant fundamental period is between 0.8 and 3.0 seconds. This suggests greatly amplified ground motions for 3 to 5 storey buildings in the Adelaide city due to future seismic events.

Community-led recovery in the context of emergencies and disaster

Disaster resilient communities and their resourcefulness to approach and respond in natural hazard events, play a key role in the disaster recovery process. It is critical that the organisational and cultural characteristics of  people living and coping in a bushfire disaster is gathered at a ground level to enable practices that recognise and support local community resilience.

What is in the disaster zone?

What information is needed for disaster governance? How to achieve national consistency in information?

Cultural Drivers of Disaster Risk Reduction Behaviour

This project examines the case study of Simeulue Island - A  rare example of an entire community responding well to the threat of a major disaster – Resulting in very little loss of life.

Design & Implementation of pre-disaster hazard loss estimation platform

The platform developed and utilised for this work is the Pre-disaster Hazard Loss Estimation Platform (PHiLEP). The PHiLEP platform is particularly suitable for this specific research purpose since it is devised to facilitate the decision making process in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) field by utilising a combination of spatial data management, disaster modelling, optimisation technologies and visualisation.

Effects of natural disasters on sectoral economic development: Evidence from Australia

 Using a unique dataset observed over 1990-2014, we estimate the impact of natural disasters on sector-specific economic growth of Australia at both state and national levels

 Bringing hazard and economic modellers together

 A paper on the use of a spatial platform for damage and loss visualization to bring together hazard and economic modellers

 Reviewing past hazard events in Australia and Victoria

In order to better understand the history of natural disasters in Australia as a whole, and also solely in the state of Victoria, a review of the past hazard events data was conducted. The data was obtained from the Australian government website www.emknowledge.gov.au and includes events from the years 1857 to 2014.

Typesort descending Title Credited author Credited author/s NON-CRC
Presentation-Slideshow Verification of soil moisture from multiple sources for bushfire danger rating applications Imtiaz Dharssi Vinod Kumar
Presentation-Slideshow Framework to inspect floodways towards estimating damage Weena Lokuge
Presentation-Slideshow Victoria Fire Weather Climatology Dataset Sarah Harris Tim Brown, Graham Mills, Domagoj Podnar, Hauss Reinbold,Matt Fearon
Presentation-Slideshow Science in Motion Timothy Neale, Jessica Weir
Presentation-Slideshow Risk ownership of natural hazards: Across systems and across values Roger Jones, Celeste Young John Symons
Presentation-Slideshow Bringing hazard and economic modellers together: A spatial platform for damage and losses visualisation Prasad Bhattacharya Yiqun Chen
Presentation-Slideshow The future of 'non-traditional' emergency volunteering Blythe McLennan, Josh Whittaker, John Handmer
Presentation-Slideshow Large-eddy simulations of pyro-convection and its sensitivity to environmental conditions William Thurston, Kevin Tory, Jeff Kepert Robert Fawcett
Presentation-Slideshow Natural Hazard Decision Support System Holger Maier, Hedwig van Delden, Aaron Zecchin, Graeme Dandy, Graeme Riddell, Charles Newland Ariella Helfgott
Presentation-Slideshow Evaluating an evidence-based, theory driven resilience intervention for the primary prevention of PTSD Petra Skeffington
Presentation-Slideshow Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for riverine flood forecasting Yuan Li, Stefania Grimaldi, Ashley Wright, Valentijn Pauwels, Jeffrey Walker
Presentation-Slideshow Mapping it out: Understanding the effectiveness of maps for delivering bushfire warning information Yinghui Cathy Cao
HazardNEWSEdition Science draws a crowd
Presentation-Audio-Video Building community resilience #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow An analysis of human fatalities from flood hazards in Australia 1900-2014 Katharine Haynes, Andrew Gissing, Lucinda Coates Chas Keys
Presentation-Audio-Video Shared Responsibility #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow An earthquake loss scenario for Adelaide Felipe Dimer-deOliveira, Paul Somerville Valentina Koschatzky
Presentation-Audio-Video The challenge of information management #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow Developing the Enterprise Opportunities and Resilience in Remote North Australian Communities Kamaljit Sangha, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Andrew Edwards, Cameron Yates, Jackie Gould, Glenn James, Bevelyne Sithole Christine Michael
Presentation-Audio-Video Reform in the EM sector #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow Enabling Adaptive Capacities for Disaster Resilience in Australia: What Role for Government Policy? Sue Hunt
Presentation-Audio-Video Supporting our people, challenging our culture #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow Investigation of Damage Severe Storm Event in Brisbane on 27 November 2014 Korah Parackal, Matthew Mason, David Henderson, Daniel Smith, John Ginger
Presentation-Audio-Video The science and modelling of hazards #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow The Sydney 2014 Forecasting Demonstration Project A Step from Research to Operations Mika Peace, Jeff Kepert Michael Foley, Derryn Griffiths, James Sofra, Simon Lousin, David Smith, Alan Wain, Beth Ebert, Peter Steinle, Aurora Bell, Alan Seed
Presentation-Audio-Video Conference highlights day 2 #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow Social ties matter - Experiencing and recovering from bushfires Lisa Gibbs, Elizabeth Waters, Richard Bryant, Philippa Pattison, David Forbes, Louise Harms, Dean Lusher, Colin MacDougall, Karen Block, Colin Gallagher, Elyse Snowdon, Connie Kellett
Presentation-Audio-Video Research Forum conference highlights #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow The Role of Extreme Value Analysis to Enhance Defendable Space for Construction Practice and Planning Grahame Douglas, Yaping He, Yang Xiang, Edward Morris
Presentation-Audio-Video Groundbreaking fire behaviour research at #AFAC15
Presentation-Slideshow Disaster Management: Building Resilient Systems to Aid Recovery Deborah Bunker
Presentation-Slideshow Linking local wildfire dynamics to PyroCB development Jason Sharples Rick McRae, Mike Fromm, Pat Kablick,
Presentation-Slideshow "We've got trouble getting around but we're still alright": Physical disability and bushfire planning Danielle Every
Presentation-Slideshow Improved modelling of storm surges and waves along the Australian coast Yasha Hetzel, Charitha Pattiaratchi Ivica Janekovic
Presentation-Slideshow Shared responsibility - Shades of grey Sarah Redshaw
Presentation-Slideshow Improvements and difficulties associated with the seismic assessment of infrastructure in Australia Ryan Hoult
Presentation-Slideshow A bushfire evacuation planning service utilising multiple simulation systems Kent Steer
Presentation-Slideshow The integration of informal volunteers into animal emergency management Mel Taylor, Greg Eustace Megan McCarthy
Presentation-Slideshow Hazard Reduction Burn Windows Hamish Clarke, Belinda Kenny
Presentation-Slideshow Improved assessment of grassland fuels in multiple jurisdictions across Australia Danielle Wright
Presentation-Slideshow Savanna fire management and bushfire and natural hazard scenario planning for North Australia Andrew Edwards, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Kamaljit Sangha, Cameron Yates

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods?

2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook

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