New books, reports and articles in the library

March 2024



Subjects

Fire incidents - Australian

Emergency Management

Leadership and Management

Firefighting

Community Engagement  

Artificial Intelligence

Fire management

Natural Environment

Mental Health

Prescribed burning

Buildings 

Work Health and Safety

Fire Behaviour

 General 

Safety and Health 

Aviation



Fire incidents - Australia

Victoria’s fire alert has knocked Australians out of complacency. Under climate change, catastrophic bushfires can strike any time (News article)

The Conversation, 28 February 2024

The Bayindeen bushfire near Ballarat meant more than 30,000 people in high-risk areas between Ballarat and Ararat were reportedly told to leave their homes. This statewide emergency is noteworthy for several reasons. First, it represents a big test of Australia’s updated fire danger rating system. The new version adopted in 2022 dictates that if a fire takes hold under catastrophic conditions, people should leave an area rather than shelter in place or stay defend their homes. The second point to note is the timing: late February, when many Australians probably thought the worst of the bushfire season was over. Climate change is bringing not just more frequent and severe fires, but longer fire seasons. That means we must stay on heightened alert for much longer than in the past.

Use this Conversation link to read the article online.


Wish you were here? The economic impact of the tourism shutdown from Australia’s 2019-20 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires (Journal article)

Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Jan 2024

Tourism, including education-related travel, is one of Australia’s top exports and generates substantial economic stimulus from Australians travelling in their own country, attracting visitors to diverse areas including World Heritage rainforests, picturesque beachside villages, winery townships and endemic wildlife. The globally unprecedented 2019-20 bushfires burned worst in some of these pristine tourist areas. The fires resulted in tourism shutting down in many parts of the country over the peak tourist season leading up to Christmas and into the New Year, and tourism dropped in many areas not physically affected by the fires. The authors calculated losses of AU$2.8 billion in total output, $1.56 billion in final demand, $810 million in income and 7300 jobs

Use this Springer link to read the article online

The fires next time : understanding Australia's Black Summer (Book)

Edited by Peter Christoff, 2023

Highly recommended by our members! The Black Summer fires burned more than 24 million hectares of Australia's southern and eastern forests - one of the largest areas burnt anywhere on Earth in a single event. The fires killed 33 people and 430 more died as an indirect consequence and they caused unfathomable harm to native species. Their economic ramifications were extensive and enduring State and federal governments and communities were under-prepared for that inferno and its many impacts. Yet global warming is increasing the likelihood of such events. The Fires Next Time offers a comprehensive assessment of the Black Summer fires. Its contributors analyse the event from many vantage points and disciplines - historical, climate scientific, ecological, economic, and political. They assess its impact. Yet global warming is increasing the likelihood of such events. Contributors include Sophie Aitken, Danielle Celermajer, Andrew Dowdy, Robyn Eckersley, Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Tom Griffiths, Michael Grose, Pham Van Ha, David Karoly, Rod Keenan, Andrew King, Tom Kompas, Christine Li, Greg Mullins, Stephen Pyne, Libby Rumpff, David Schlosberg, Kevin Tolhurst, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Iain Walker and Brendan Wintle.

Contact the library to borrow this book. Now available as an eBook as well! 

Wildfire Magazine - latest issue

The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) is a professional membership association for wildland fire professionals. It publishes the magazine Wildfire quarterly. The latest issue has a 2023 overview of wildfires in the USA, Greece, Canada and Australia plus also articles on leadership and stress management.

Use this IAWF link to read the latest and archived articles online.

International Journal of Wildland Fire

International Journal of Wildland Fire - now open access!

For over 30 years, the IJWF has been published monthly by CSIRO on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire. It publishes articles on basic and applied aspects of wildland fire science including, but not confined to, ecological impact, modelling fire and its effects, and management of fire.

The IJWF has always been subscripiton-based, requiring a fee to access articles. However, from January this year, the journal has become open access and free to read online. Print copies will no longer be printed.

Use this CSIRO link to read the latest and archived articles online.

 

Firefighting

Fire department hydraulics (Book)

By Eugene Mahoney and Brent E. Hannig

Part of the Brady Fire Series books. This US manual was written for courses in fire protection hydraulics, water supply, and fire technology; and for working fire department professionals studying to become drivers, operators, or engineers. One step at a time, it clearly explains key concepts including the weight of water, friction loss within hoselines, characteristics of municipal water supplies, delivery of water to handlines and master streams, and much more.

Contact the library to borrow this book.

Discovering the physics behind 300-year-old firefighting methods (ScienceDaily article)

American Institute of Physics, January 2024

Inspired by a 1725 fire engine that pumped water at larger distances and higher speeds than previously possible, authors analysed the pressure chamber's Windkessel effect to capture the physics behind this widely used, enduring technology. They compared the initial state of the chamber, the rate at which bucket brigades could pour water in (volumetric inflow), the length of time pressure builds, and the effects on output flow rate. Next, the authors plan to examine the physiological Windkessel involved in the heart-aorta system.

Use this ScienceDaily link to read the article online.

An escape route planning model based on wildfire prediction information and travel rate of firefighters (Journal article)

International Journal of Wildland Fire, published online 5 March 2024

When firefighters evacuate from wildfires, escape routes are crucial safety measures, providing pre-defined pathways to a safety zone. Their key evaluation criterion is the time it takes for firefighters to travel along the planned escape routes. The authors introduced a new evaluation indicator called the safety index by predicting the growth trend of wildfires. We then proposed a comprehensive evaluation cost function as an escape route planning model, which includes two factors: (1) travel time; and (2) safety of the escape route. The relationship between the two factors is dynamically adjusted through real time factor.

Use this CSIRO link to read the article online. 

 

Fire Management

Assessing changes in global fire regimes (Journal article)

Fire Ecology, February 2024

The global human footprint has fundamentally altered wildfire regimes, creating serious consequences for human health, biodiversity, and climate. However, it remains difficult to project how long-term interactions among land use, management, and climate change will affect fire behaviour, representing a key knowledge gap for sustainable management. The authors used expert assessment to combine opinions about past and future fire regimes from 99 wildfire researchers and asked for quantitative and qualitative assessments of the frequency, type, and implications of fire regime change from the beginning of the Holocene through the year 2300.

Use this SpringerOpen link to read the article online.


Fire Behaviour

A fast, physically based model of firebrand transport by bushfire plumes (Journal article)

Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 345, 15 February 2024

Spotfires are a major problem in bushfire management, greatly complicate suppression efforts, and contribute to fires breaking control lines. Firebrands are often implicated in structure loss, and in extreme circumstances have been observed to ignite new fires over 30 km ahead of the parent fire. Existing prediction techniques do not accommodate the problem of such long-range spotting, and the meteorological and fire conditions that lead to such events are not well understood. We present a computationally inexpensive, physically based model of ember transport within bushfire plumes, with four components: an integral plume model, a model of turbulence within the plume, a probabilistic model of ember transport by the plume, and a model of transport beneath the plume. 

Contact the library to request a copy of this article.

Perspective: Flawed assumptions behind analysis of litter decomposition, steady state and fire risks in Australia (Journal article)

Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 556, 15 March 2024

Assumptions first made in the 1960’s that litter (1) decomposes to completion, (2) accumulates following a negative exponential pattern, (3) reaches a steady state limit and (4) is constant thereafter, remain overwhelmingly used to parameterize models and predict litter mass and fire risk in south-eastern Australian forest and woodlands. None of these assumptions hold. There is no evidence that any Australian forest has attained steady state at any time in the last 60 years, nor that litterfall or litter mass are ever constant on annual scales.

Use this ScienceDirect link to read the article online. 

Resurfacing of underground peat fire: smouldering transition to flaming wildfire on litter surface (Journal article)

International Journal of Wildland Fire, published online 5 February 2024

Smouldering wildfires in peatlands are one of the largest and longest-lasting fire phenomena on Earth, but it is unclear whether such underground peat fires can resurface to the ground and ignite a flame on the litter layer. The authors’ tests confirmed that a smouldering peat fire, ignited at the bottom, can propagate upwards and resurface to ignite a flaming wildfire on the surface litter layer. The propensity of litter to be flaming ignited decreased with increasing peat moisture content and litter layer density. 

Use this CSIRO link to read the article online. 

Lightning-Induced Wildfires: An Overview (Journal article)

Fire, March 2024

Wildfire causes environmental, economic, and human problems or losses. This study reviewed wildfires induced by lightning strikes. This review focuses on the investigations of lightning mechanisms in the laboratory. Also, the paper aims to discuss some of the modeling studies on lightning-induced wildfires at different geographical locations using satellite-recorded lightning data and different statistical analyses. This review established that irrespective of the different models used to predict lightning wildfires, there is still a lack of understanding of the lightning-strike ignition mechanism; few experiments have been modeled to establish the dynamics of lightning-strike ignition.

Use this MDPI link to read the article online.

 

Prescribed burning

To burn or not to burn: governance of wildfires in Australia (Journal article)

Ecology & Society, Vol 29 February 2024

Globally, wildfires are increasing in extent, frequency, and severity. Although global climate change is a major driver and large-scale governance interventions are essential, focusing on governance at smaller scales is of great importance for fostering resilience to wildfires. Inherent tensions in managing wildfire risk are evident at such scales, as objectives and mandates may conflict, and tradeoffs and impacts vary across ecosystems and communities. Here, we describe a case study where features of adaptive governance emerged organically from a dedicated planning process for wildfire governance in Australia. We found that a governance process that is context specific, allows for dialogue about risk, benefits, and trade-offs, and allows for responsibility and risk to be distributed amongst many different actors, can provide the conditions needed to break down rigidity traps that constrain adaptation. The process enabled actors to question whether the default risk management option (in this case, prescribed burning) is aligned with place-based risks and values so they could make an informed choice, built from their participation in the governance process. 

Contact the library to request a copy of this article.

Aviation