Bushfire risk and risk mitigation for fire-prone communities

Major cities in Australia and elsewhere have high levels of exposure of people and property to destructive wildfires. An understanding of risk and the way they can be mitigated through a diverse range of activities (e.g. treatment of fuel, suppression, education, preparedness and design of buildings) is a fundamental research challenge. Such an understanding of risk is dependent on knowledge of the exposure and vulnerability of key assets and values: e.g. the configuration, age and construction standards of house in fire-prone lands.

CERMB research projects cover the range of these issues, using a combination of innovative empirical and modelling methodologies. These projects aim to transform our knowledge of risk and the way it can be effectively mitigated via improvements to fire management policy, planning and operations.

As a priority, CERMB research focusses meeting the needs of the NSW Rural Fire Service and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, but also undertakes more wide-ranging projects to assist government agencies in other States and overseas.

CERMB research on bushfire risk and mitigation also supports, augments and integrates with work undertaken by NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub, WP6.

Current projects include: Determinants of house loss in major fires, post-fire; community preparedness and responses to destructive fires; linked socio-environmental responses to destructive wildfire; Prescribed Burning Atlas; cost-benefit analysis of prescribed burning and fire management.


  • Dr Owen Price
  • Dr Josh Whittaker
  • Dr Hamish Clarke
  • Mr Michael Bedward
  • Mr Anthony Rawlins


  • Mr Michael Storey, PhD candidate: Empirical analysis of spot-fire and fire-brand behaviour during extreme fire weather conditions.
  • Ms Heather Simpson, PhD candidate: Productivity and Effectiveness of Suppression Resources and Tactics on Large Fires.

Funding: NSW Rural Fire Service, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, Victorian Government.