Climate Change Adaptation: Suitability Indices of Human Settlement Fire Vulnerability

Identifying and assessing bushfire risk to homes

Map of Fire Risks overlayed onto map of Melbourne

In the context of increasing fire risks resulting from climate change, metropolitan and many regional area in Australia are growing quickly. This growth is exposing increasing numbers of houses to bushfire threats. There is a need for improved bushfire assessment tools at the strategic planning level for existing and proposed human settlements to ensure that new housing is appropriately located and designed, and that existing settlements facing high fire risks can be improved. Current design guides tend to focus on individual buildings, giving little comprehensive attention to the arrangements of settlements overall, a form of maladaptation which may actually encourage increased amounts of settlement in areas of high bushfire incidence.

This project developed an index of fire vulnerability to assess existing and projected settlement areas, extant policy, and to guide improved adaptation to climate change.

For full details please refer to the report of this study:

Kimberley Opie, Alan March, Justin Leonard, Glenn Newnham (2014). Indicators of Fire Vulnerability: Risk Factors in Victorian Settlements. CSIRO and Melbourne University report to the report to the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme. Melbourne.

Project details

Major Sponsor

Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner: National Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme

Research Partners

University of Melbourne
RMIT University

Project Team

A/Prof Alan March (Uni of Melb)
Mr Justin Leonard (CSIRO)
Prof Michael Buxton (RMIT)
A/Prof Dave Mercer (RMIT)


A/Prof Alan March