Factors influencing the success of initial attack of bushfires in Australia using aircraft

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TitleFactors influencing the success of initial attack of bushfires in Australia using aircraft
Publication TypeConference Paper
AuthorsPlucinski, MP, Gould, JS, McCarthy, GJ, Hollis, JJ
Full Text

The International Bushfire Research Conference 2008 - incorporating The 15th annual AFAC Conference, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

 Bushfire suppression aims to keep burned areas and subsequent losses to a minimum. Experience has found this to be most effectively achieved through early fire containment. Data from 513 fires that have used aerial suppression as part of the initial attack have been analysed to determine the factors influencing initial attack success.

The data were sourced across Australia between 2004 and 2007 and includes information on timing of suppression events (detection, first work, containment), fire size at initial attack, weather, fuel hazard, fire behaviour, and terrain. The data were split into two based on the vegetation types that represent the Forest Fire Danger Index and Grassland Fire Danger Index. Initial attack success was defined as fire containment within 8 hours of detection. Logistic regression modelling was used to identify factors that influence initial attack success.

Aerial and ground suppression response times, near surface fuel hazard score, wind speed and fire area at initial attack were found to be the most important for determining initial attack success in Forest Fire Danger Index vegetation. Initial attack success of grassfires was modelled using aerial suppression response time, wind speed and curing.