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UNSW Canberra bushfire expert Associate Professor Jason Sharples helped Weston Creek residents prepare for the upcoming season at a council meeting on Wednesday.
Many Weston Creek residents experienced the 2003 bushfires firsthand. Recent bushfires in Canberra’s south-west were a reminder of the threat posed by dry, crisp conditions.
Dr Sharples is the Lead Chief Investigator on two ARC Discover Indigenous Projects and Project Leader for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC’s ‘Spot Fire’ Project. These projects all consider various aspects of extreme and dynamic bushfire propagation, the development of large conflagrations and bushfire risk management.
“The main things I [discussed were] how bushfires can sometimes behave in unexpected ways, how they escalate to catastrophic levels, and how extreme fire impacts are different from standard fires,” Dr Sharples says.
Dr Sharples addressed fire behaviour with particular reference to the geographic area adjacent to Weston Creek.
The Weston Creek Community Council says newer residents may not be fully aware of the local bushfire threat.
“It is very important to have a good understanding of what might happen in the event of a bushfire and how to deal with it,” the council says.
Dr Sharples was joined by Greg Potts of the ACT Rural Fire Service. Mr Potts outlined how to prepare and plan for a fire event.