Out of the ashes of the Tathra bushfire, and stories of heartbreaking loss and survival, a picture is emerging of how research is helping to save properties and improve bushfire outcomes.
A lot has been learned about fire behaviour from the bushfires that have lashed the Australian continent in the past. But to really refine fire behaviour knowledge, researchers need to put their hypotheses to the test through carefully orchestrated large-scale field experiments.
“It doesn’t matter how many fire hoses you have, you can’t be everywhere at once.” So how do you plan ahead for all the decisions you might need to take in the midst of catastrophe? That includes when and where to take shelter.
Portugal has again been in the grip of wildfires this northern summer. The devastating human and financial toll of bushfires is felt across the globe. In Australia, CSIRO is using expert knowledge and the latest technology to pinpoint areas at risk so they can be better managed into the future.
New understanding about the behaviour of ‘firebrands’ from ribbon bark eucalypts suggests a change in thinking may be needed to fight fires in extreme conditions.
The devastating bushfire that tore through Wye River in 2015 has shown us that resilience to bushfires is about more than just building regulations.
Historical data on bushfire losses reveals sobering insight about the human response to catastrophic bushfire conditions, and why our current approach is set to fail.
The Christmas Day fires that struck the Victorian town of Wye River are an example of how to get emergency responses right.
A bushfire is one of the most terrifying natural phenomena that anyone is likely to experience in Australia. To be caught in a bushfire is to witness a true hell on earth — conditions hot enough to melt metal, heat fluxes that literally vaporise vegetation, and smoke plumes so dense they turn day into night.
The ‘fire behaviour triangle’ – topography, weather and fuel – represents the three key factors that influence how a bushfire behaves. Weaken any one of these and a bushfire becomes more manageable.
Building bushfire resilience to preserve life and property requires consideration of buildings, individuals, communities and the environment.
Designing houses to withstand bushfire is about balancing not only the bushfire resilience of the house but also the aesthetic qualities and functionality. Researchers have helped develop a new standard with the housing industry for bushfire-proofing steel framed houses.