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Scientific smoke in Wangaratta
Wangaratta is hosting a world leading experimental burn assisted by unmanned air vehicles, infrared gear, tankers from the local Erica and Wangaratta groups as well as representatives from NSW RFS.
There will be smoke in the air for a few weeks as part of the grassland curing study conducted by CFA in conjunction with CSIRO, which will lead to a much better understanding of grassfire behaviour
“We’re already good at monitoring the curing process, with the help of local volunteer observers and satellite tracking, and CFA’s grassland curing guide is used both nationally and internationally,” said CFA’s Research and Innovation Manager David Nichols.
“The next step is to get a better understanding of how grass will burn at each stage of the curing process and how curing will affect fire behaviour. This will allow us to provide more accurate Fire Danger Ratings and give us better information for fire behaviour modelling, planning prescribed burns and calling Total Fire Bans.”
“As well as being useful for fire suppression, we’ll be able to use this grassland curing information to inform our public safety messaging about grassfires. A better understanding of how these fires behave, particularly in townships surrounded by grassland, will hopefully lead to people being more informed and safer in the long run,” said David.
The project team ran an information session at the Wangaratta group meeting last Tuesday night about the burns, which will take place on a large private property. Local media will be briefed to ensure the community is expecting smoke in the area.
These burns will also be run in Ballarat next month depending on weather conditions and an information session has already taken place with local members at Wendouree fire station.
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