Controlled burning in the bush.

Controlled burning in the bush.

Bushfire Research

CSIRO bushfire research is improving the understanding of fire, and improving technologies and strategies to save lives and limit damage.

  • 12 February 2009 | Updated 25 November 2013

Bushfire has been part of the Australian landscape for millions of years. Much of our vegetation has evolved with fire, and like the vegetation in other harsh and dry environments, it has developed characteristics that promote the spread of fire.

Australian scientists are developing reliable tools for predicting bushfire behaviour to save lives and limit damage. 

CSIRO undertakes work on advancing fire spread prediction and bushfire suppression systems by using sophisticated data analysis techniques and computer modelling. Working with state land management, rural fire agencies and other research agencies, our scientists apply knowledge of bushfire dynamics to real events and help predict risks. 

Research background 

Our scientists apply knowledge of bushfire dynamics to real events and help predict risks.

CSIRO has been involved in bushfire research for more than sixty years. This has focused on:

  • development of fire data analysis tools
  • understanding and predicting bushfire behaviour
  • the impact of bushfires on infrastructure
  • ecological responses to fire
  • the impact of climate change on bushfire risk
  • pollutants and greenhouse gases as a result of bushfires.

Research results have been used to respond to bushfire threat through weather warnings, fire location information, fire-fighter training, predicting fire behaviour and informing fire safety policy.

Achievements

Emergency Response Intelligence Capability (ERIC)

The Emergency Response Intelligence Capability (ERIC) is a web based productivity tool that gathers data, presents it in a map based web site and helps generate situation reports for emergency events at specific locations.

Emergency Situation Awareness tool for social media

Social media channels provide a new, rich source of information from which disaster managers and emergency response agencies can obtain real-time awareness of developing situations.

CSIRO Pyrotron: A National Bushfire Research Facility

A national research facility testing combustion and spread of bushfires to improve fire safety and fire-fighting for Australian communities.

Understanding building infrastructure performance in bushfires

From the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires to the present, all bushfires involving significant house loss have been surveyed by CSIRO bushfire researchers.

Partners

The bushfire research at CSIRO is part of a large scale collaborative effort with the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre.

It draws on the resources of the Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia, and state and territory based fire agencies.

CSIRO collaborates with the Australian Government Department of Human Services to gather and report information on emergency events.

Find out more about CSIRO's bushfire research.