The overall aim of this project is to optimise predictive map design and dissemination to ensure that these maps will support public protective action decision-making during a bushfire. This will be achieved through working closely together with emergency management organisations across all Australian jurisdictions to ensure that the research is not only contributing to the advancement of science, but also that the outcomes of the project are fit for agency practice.
The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC funded Black Summer project, Established and emerging uses of predictive services, found that there is much support amongst operations staff in Victoria for the dissemination of fire spread prediction maps to the public. Further, recent post-event inquiries have recommended greater use of fire spread predictions in public messaging. However, the translation of inquiry recommendations and internal support into action remains contentious, especially without evidence-based guidelines on how predictive maps should be designed and communicated, and how and when they should be disseminated to the public. Therefore, this study aims to develop evidence-based guidelines and recommendations for how to design, communicate, and disseminate predictive maps to Australian communities exposed to bushfires.
The Steering Committee for this project comprises representatives from the AFAC Predictive Services Group, the AFAC Warnings Group from all Australian states and territories, and the Bureau of Meteorology.