back to article CSIRO unveils new bushfire software and knowledge base

With Australia already embroiled in the earliest-starting fire season in memory, it's pertinent that the CSIRO is working on improving our ability to model and predict bushfire behaviour. This week, the science agency presented a new tool at its Bushfire Behaviour Symposium in Canberra: Amicus, a decision support tool designed …

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well done CSIRO

good to see them leaving models open to updates from reality. There is a huge amount of historical data on bush fire behaviour in rural fire brigades that goes back decades. I remember them being ignored a decade ago before major fires around Oz crapital city. After that event, the bureaucrats immediately implemented an improvement program that caused the bush fire brigades to resign in protest. Paper pusher always know best.

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FAIL

Re: well done CSIRO

It was the NSW RFS who decided to let the fires burn towards Canberra in 2003.

And I strongly resent your slur on the beautiful city where I live. Perhaps you are jealous of our wonderful amenities, high employment rate, low crime, top quality schools, and open green spaces. Also, the strength of community spirit shown in the wake of the 2003 fires was amazing. So don't you dare call my home crap.

p.s. yes, well done CSIRO for this new work.

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WTF?

Re: well done CSIRO

I suggest you read the McLeod report. The RFS started putting a containment line around the fires in their area a week before the 18th. They came in for a bit of stick later on the grounds that they weren't able to complete them in the direction of Wee Jasper before it broke out. If you look at the maps in the McLeod report, you'll see the containment lines.

The "shit country" comment describes accessibility and value. If you can't readily access a fire, you start building containment lines by back-burning from well defined containment lines.

How do I know this? I was one of the people doing the backburning.

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Trollface

Re: well done CSIRO

@Martin I lived there for some time. Happy to leave. Infested with developers and social engineers making life expensive for Joe and Joan Public so they can increase profit or create some greenie wet dream distopia.

City used to e OK. Now it is just another concrete canyon clone just like all the others in Oz, except Hobart. And the suburbs. Even the cockroaches are round shouldered. Anyone would think Oz is a tiny island, not a mostly empty continent. Unemployment might be low, but as town is full of temps of course unemployment is low when they leave. Low crime ? Just low reporting. Only place I have seen little kids holding the drugs for mums boyfriend while he deals in main streets. The major crimes are protected as it gets approved by due process across the creek in big house on hill. Community spirit ? Probably less than most places I have lived in. Try Darwin or the Alice for community spirit. Or any small place in middle of no-where. Only education mill in ACT I have not heard horror stories about is ANU which has a good reputation. No doubt some process obsessed clerk is busy rectifying that from what the staff tell me.

Open green spaces ? Oh, the proposed building sites for yet another row of empty coffee and retail shops so no-one can get to lake. Nope, crapital remains a small inward looking city with navel gazing intellectuals babbling at each other, much as I wish it were otherwise.

As for the firies, no criticism was offered. They did their best in difficult conditions. Then copped flack for not being omniscient, followed by lectures from clerks producing more rules and procedures, none of which were relevant or helpful. In a sane world, one would ask why large pine plantations were growing to edge of suburbs. Note to self. Bit more work, more caps and nearly halfway to a flame. What happened to FOTW BTW ?

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35% error rate is pretty good

Since the algorithms are said to be well-known and come in the form of circular slide rules, I expect that they're the McArthur models. They're extremely hard to use with any precision since the equation forms have exponentials all over the place. A little variation in temperature or wind speed, and the spread rate goes off the clock. So I'm impressed by the claim of a 35% error rate.

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