School of Civil Engineering

The role of moisture and scale on the flammability of Australian vegetation

Wildland fires are frequent catastrophic events that lead to the loss of life and economic devastation. In Australia, wildland fires (commonly known as bushfires) have become an environmental problem for million years. Bushfires can be influenced by several factors, e.g., environmental factors and forestry management. A significant amount of research has been carried out worldwide to identify the key factors that determine the flammability of vegetation. Fuel moisture content has been highlighted as one of the most the critical factors affecting the initiation and development of wildland fires. Nonetheless, most of the fuel flammability tests are generally conducted at a laboratory-scale and are rarely used for the fire danger and risk assessment at real scale conditions. Therefore, there is a need for extrapolating the lab-scale flammability outcomes to the larger scale; and eventually implementing these findings to assess the risk of bushfires.

This project aims to identify the changes of moisture content on most common Australian vegetation species and its impact on the flammability and risk of bushfires using a wide range of experimental scenarios. More specifically, this project proposes three work packages based on the objectives: (i) bench-scale experiments to establish the fundamental relationship between flammability and fuel moisture content; (ii) multi-scale experiments to identify the effect of fuel moisture content at different scales of testing method; and (iii) in-depth analysis on the existing fire danger assessment models and the possibility of refining these models based on fundamental fire research.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Thursday, 24 January 2019


Room 50-T103
Hawken Engineering Building (#50)