Mitigating risk from wildfire is a balancing act
A better understanding of the economic, social and environmental consequences of major wildfires is important for reducing impacts to businesses, communities, individuals and ecosystems. Fire and land management agencies around the world invest significant resources to try to reduce the impacts of wildfires. Strategies are largely focused on fuel modification with the primary aim being the protection of human life and property. However, land and fire agencies have limited budgets for undertaking fuel management and this is further complicated by the environmental, social and financial risks of undertaking fire-based fuel treatments.
Risk modelling helps support land management decisions
Wildfire risk modelling increases our ability to predict fire behaviour and the associated impacts on human and environmental features. Our research is focused on helping agencies and organisations quantify fire risk decisions and optimise management expenditure to reduce the risk of fire to people, property and other assets. Our risk modelling approach provides a systematic method for assessing trade-offs between different management strategies, with estimates of residual risk and cost-effectiveness across a range of values and assets types. Through the FROST software developed by our team we also have the capacity to integrate future climate scenarios, enabling the assessment of risk under a changing climate. Our work in this field aims to provide robust calculations of risk (at the local and landscape scale) to assist decision making and inform on-ground management for a range of assets including people, property, economic, environmental, cultural and infrastructure.
We use a range of approaches to model risk across Australia
We use a range of modelling approaches to quantify risk and specialise in fire simulations, spatial data analysis, Bayesian Network modelling, fire regime simulations and expert elicitation. Our team is currently working on a range of projects across Australia, with a diverse range of research partners including both government and commercial agencies.