Science in focus

Tray of pinned insects in the Autralian National Insect Collection showing the huge variety of different species.

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The impact of bushfires on Australian insects

Discover some of the ways bushfires harm and benefit different species of insects.

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Tray of pinned insects in the Autralian National Insect Collection showing the huge variety of different species.

Featured

A dry landscape and a dire season: we explain the current bushfire environment

Our bushfire expert Andrew Sullivan delves beyond the smoke haze to explain the current crisis and the tough conditions ahead.

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Video

[Music plays and text appears: Spark: A better way to predict the spread of bushfires]

[Image changes to show a bushfire]

[Image changes to show Dr Mahesh Prakash, and text appears on screen: Dr Mahesh Prakash, Group Leader | Computational Modelling and Simulation]

Dr Mahesh Prakash: Spark is a bushfire spread modelling capability which has been developed by CSIRO.

[Image changes to show a computer simulation of a bushfire]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

It provides emergency management agencies a much better ability to predict fires, and save lives and property.

[Image changes to show various computer simulations]

Spark is able to provide information around the rate at which the fires spreads, the direction in which it spreads, as well as the locations that the fire actually affects. Your inputs are essentially your weather data, mainly your wind data, the location where the fire has been started, the data about vegetation, the fuel type, as well as the terrain.

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

And once you have all these inputs you can run your fire predictions for any given location.

[Image changes to show computer simulation of a bushfire]

And it runs better than real time, so you can actually make your decisions around where to actually target the fire fighting efforts.

[Image changes to show a bushfire]

[Image changes to show a fireman spraying water on the bushfire from a vehicle]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

It can also be used by researchers to actually try and understand different types of fire models.

[Image changes to show various computer simulations of a bushfire]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

Now that Spark’s actually publically available and it’s downloadable from our website, emergency agencies can actually have a firsthand look at how it performs, and Spark’s actually able to be integrated with their existing systems.

[Image changes to show Dr Mahesh Prakash working at a computer]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

You also have the ability to incorporate future changes, which might also include climate change effects, into any model that gets developed.

[Image changes to show a bushfire]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

People can be better prepared against potential bushfire risks, both from a saving lives perspective, as well as saving property perspective.

[Image changes to show a fireman spraying water on a bushfire from a moving vehicle]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

So it’s a very powerful tool for emergency management agencies.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

Spark: A better way to predict the spread of bushfires

Spark gives fire-fighting agencies a more accurate view of fire behaviour, informing decisions that could minimise property damage and save lives.

Watch more

[Music plays and text appears: Spark: A better way to predict the spread of bushfires]

[Image changes to show a bushfire]

[Image changes to show Dr Mahesh Prakash, and text appears on screen: Dr Mahesh Prakash, Group Leader | Computational Modelling and Simulation]

Dr Mahesh Prakash: Spark is a bushfire spread modelling capability which has been developed by CSIRO.

[Image changes to show a computer simulation of a bushfire]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

It provides emergency management agencies a much better ability to predict fires, and save lives and property.

[Image changes to show various computer simulations]

Spark is able to provide information around the rate at which the fires spreads, the direction in which it spreads, as well as the locations that the fire actually affects. Your inputs are essentially your weather data, mainly your wind data, the location where the fire has been started, the data about vegetation, the fuel type, as well as the terrain.

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

And once you have all these inputs you can run your fire predictions for any given location.

[Image changes to show computer simulation of a bushfire]

And it runs better than real time, so you can actually make your decisions around where to actually target the fire fighting efforts.

[Image changes to show a bushfire]

[Image changes to show a fireman spraying water on the bushfire from a vehicle]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

It can also be used by researchers to actually try and understand different types of fire models.

[Image changes to show various computer simulations of a bushfire]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

Now that Spark’s actually publically available and it’s downloadable from our website, emergency agencies can actually have a firsthand look at how it performs, and Spark’s actually able to be integrated with their existing systems.

[Image changes to show Dr Mahesh Prakash working at a computer]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

You also have the ability to incorporate future changes, which might also include climate change effects, into any model that gets developed.

[Image changes to show a bushfire]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

People can be better prepared against potential bushfire risks, both from a saving lives perspective, as well as saving property perspective.

[Image changes to show a fireman spraying water on a bushfire from a moving vehicle]

[Image changes back to Dr Mahesh Prakash]

So it’s a very powerful tool for emergency management agencies.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

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