Category Archives: Environment

Dynamic bushfire behaviour

Those who live on the western edge of Belconnen (which includes Hawker, Weetangera, Cook and Aranda) will be interested in this public talk to be held on Thursday 27 September 2018 at 7 pm at the Flynn Community Hub Hall, 21 Bingle Street, Flynn (parking is accessed off Hedland Circuit)The speaker will be Dr Jason Sharples, Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of New South Wales, who works on various aspects of extreme and dynamic bushfire propagation, the development of large conflagrations and bushfire risk management. He is also a volunteer firefighter.

Long-time residents will well remember Saturday 18 January 2003, when four lives were lost, 490 people were injured and 500 houses were destroyed by bushfire in the Canberra suburbs of Duffy and Chapman.  The bushfires started in the Brindabella Range in the west and were driven towards Canberra by the prevailing north-westerly winds.  At the time, a number of unusual fires were observed in which bushfire spread sideways across the wind direction and was accompanied by rapid and intense downwind fire spread caused by embers. Since these fires, much research has been conducted to understand why some fires turn into firestorms with vastly different behaviour from ordinary bushfires.  Firestorm events consistently cause the greatest wildfire damage and pose an increasing challenge worldwide.

Assoc. Prof. Sharples will outline the current knowledge of how, where and why such extreme fires occur.  This is a public talk organised by the Ginninderra Falls Association.