New research is exploring the vital role that bushfire maps play in informing how people respond to fire threats, with input from Huon Valley residents impacted by the 2019 Riveaux Road bushfire.
If you are a resident of the Huon Valley and were affected by bushfire in the last four years (since 2018) and are aged 18 years or over, your experiences can help shape bushfire safety via a research interview in February.
The study by Natural Hazards Research Australia and RMIT University is supported by the Tasmania Fire Service and the Huon Valley Council. It will improve the design of maps that show a bushfire’s location and potential spread.
No experience with bushfire spread prediction maps or maps in general is needed to participate. The research team will ask participants to recall information they received and actions they took during a previous bushfire, along with any role maps played in their response. Participants will also be asked for their perspectives on two pilot maps that have been developed for the study.
The research team will be conducting in‐person interviews in the Huon Valley from 20‐28 February and registrations are encouraged now. Online interviews are also possible from 1 February. To participate in either option register at https://bit.ly/3fnOChN and follow the prompts. Participants can also call or email the research team to express interest: (03) 9925 3267 or email@example.com.
Dr Erica Kuligowski, Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University, said the input of Huon Valley locals will provide important information.
“To improve bushfire maps, we need to know what information people would expect to find on these maps,” Dr Kuligowski explained.
“This research will improve bushfire safety by finding out critical information about how TasALERT warning maps are understood, used and importantly, what actions those under bushfire threat would take after seeing these maps.
“If you want to have a say in how these maps are designed and communicated in future bushfires, please register for our research.
“This research will help bushfire safety, not just in the Huon Valley or Tasmania, but around Australia, as we develop guidance for fire experts so that future bushfire maps can be better understood by the people who need them the most,” Dr Kuligowski said.