HIGHFIRE RISK PROJECT

BLOW-UP FIRE EVENT (BUFE) POTENTIAL
SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA

--The Hierarchical Predictive Framework--

Level 1: ; Level 2:
This page shows current Alerts for Blow-Up Fire Event potential.

ISSUE DATE:
27 FEBRUARY 2024.


This is an Operational Trial.
It is intended to be an intelligence product to aid in informed decision making, and should not be used in any other way.
Recent pyroCbs (2023b, Nymboida, 25 October; 2023d, Pilliga, 9 Dec; & 2023e, Pilliga, 18 Dec) were fully consistent with HPF Alerts.

A REQUEST

If anyone uses this draft model operationally, can they please send their results to the author:
Rick McRae
Current SSTA charts
(NOAA Coral Reef Watch)
Click maps to see at full size on NOAA site.
Current monthly Indian Ocean SSTA chart
Current monthly Pacific Ocean SSTA chart



LEVEL 1
CANBERRA DIPOLE



This reflects interactions between land and sea that influence synoptic patterns conducive to wildfires (or rain).

Data:
Current Alert Status:


LEVEL 1 ALERT DUE TO RIVER DRYING EVENTS.



[Click on image to enlarge.]

ANALYSIS:

There is a Level 1 alert in place reflecting the onset of river drying events (a Level 2 Alert).

UPDATE: River flows in some areas are dry or are heading towards dry.


LEVEL 2
RIVER DRYING EVENTS



Rivers in the region are drying out as rainfalls decrease. This indicates a real potential for a BUFE or a pyroCb during the coming month.
Current Alert Status:


LEVEL 2 ALERT IS IN PLACE.


ANALYSIS: Two river flow sites have dried out, and five more could go dry soon.
Careful monitoring is required, especially as numerical weather models are struggling with the synoptic systems currently in play.
I have ignored site 2 (MacDonald River) as its flow has refused to reflect recent rain events - I suspect that the riverbed has silted up post fires.



LEVEL 3
BLOW-UP FIRE OUTLOOK

With an alert in place, the bushfire threat in places like central Victoria is expected to include Extreme Wildfires.
Operations at Level 3 require a trained FBAN or equivalent Technical Expert to use the BUFO2 model to assess the potential for a Blow-Up Fire Event during an on-going fire. This requires a series of data feeds specified in the model. It is suggested that, as dry conditions have returned, FBANs should skill-up on using the BUFO2 model.

Click here for the BUFO2 worksheet.

Click here for a PowerPoint presentation on BUFO2, from a workshop at the AFAC21 Conference.


Could anyone using the spreadsheet during the HPF trail please copy their results to us.


Page prepared by:
Adjunct Professor Rick McRae
UNSW Canberra
School of Science
Bushfire Research Group
r.mcrae@adfa.edu.au


BASIS


This work is based on analyses of data from Black Summer.
The structure of the four-tier Hierarchical Prediction System is designed to progress into smaller-scales of timeframe and function, shifting from seasonal outlook to incident operations:

HPF is described in a peer-reviewed paper in the October 2023 edition of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management.




LEVEL 2 SOURCE DATA

The table and map below describe the stream flow reference sites used.

.
  • These plots are of data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and WaterNSW (https://realtimedata.waternsw.com.au/water.stm).
  • These sites do not reflect risk to life or property, rather they are from streams with long records that are not dammed or otherwise signficantly modified, and are intended to reflect underlying hydrological dynamics. Elevated levels or concave drying trends indicate wet landscapes. Near minimum flows or low flows decaying in a convex curve are indicators of a River Drying Event.
  • Note that minimum flows are not zero flows - the value reflects the circumstances at the flow measuring station.
  • Also note that many catchments burnt out during Black Summer, and this may cause anomalous flow dynamics.
  • There are occasional disruptions to data provision, causing gaps in the graphs. These may be updated as datasets are updated.

1. Clyde R at Brooman (site ID 216002)
Min. level = 0.40 m.
2. Macdonald R at Howes Valley (site ID 212021)
Min. level = -0.10 m.
This site has questionable data - the river is notorious for silting up after major wildfires.
3. Goobarragandra R at Macs Crossing (site ID 41000261)
Min. level = 0.90 m.
4. Macalister R at Glencairn (site ID 225219)
Min. level = 0.30 m.
5. Towamba R at Towamba (site ID 220004)
Min. level = 0.35 m.
6. Kowmung R at Cedar Ford (site ID 212260)
Min. level = 0.40 m.
7. Mann R at Mitchell (site ID 204014)
Min. level = 0.20 m.
8. Clarence R at Paddys Flat (site ID 204051)
Min. level = 0.55 m.
9. Hastings R at Mt Seaview (site ID 207015
Min. level = 0.55 m.
10. Barrington R at Bobs Crossing (site ID 208001)
Min. level = 0.58 m.
11. Murrumbidgee R above Tantangara Reservoir (site ID 410535)
Min. level = 0.45 m.
12. Tooma R above Tooma Reservoir (site ID 401554)
Min. level = 0.45 m.
The Federal Government has gazetted this site as a Commercially Sensitive Site under the Water Regulations 2008. It has been removed from this site.
13. Shoalhaven R at Hillview (site ID 215208)
Min. level = 0.45 m.
14. Queanbeyan R at Tinderry (site ID 410734)
Min. level = 0.70 m.
15. Reedy Creek (site ID 403221)
Min. level = 0.22 m.
16. Wadbilliga R at Wadbilliga (site ID 218007)
Min. level = 0.75 m.
17. Gudgenby R at Mt Tennent (site ID 410731)
Min. level = 0.45 m.

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