Project Vesta: Fire in Dry Eucalypt Forests

  • Publish Date: 2009-01-16
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: John Gould;W. L. McCaw;N. P. Cheney;P. F. Ellis;I. K. Knight;A. L. Sullivan
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Project Vesta was a comprehensive research project to investigate the behavior and spread of high-intensity bushfires in dry eucalypt forests with different fuel ages and understorey vegetation structures. The project was designed to quantify age-related changes in fuel attributes and fire behavior in dry eucalypt forests typical of southern Australia.

The four main scientific aims of Project Vesta were:
* To quantify the changes in the behavior of fire in dry eucalypt forest as fuel develops with age (i.e. time since fire)
* To characterize wind speed profiles in forest with different overstorey and understorey vegetation structure in relation to fire behavior
* To develop new algorithms describing the relationship between fire spread and wind speed, and fire spread and fuel characteristics including load, structure and height
* To develop a National Fire Behavior Prediction System for dry eucalypt forest

These aims have been addressed through a program of experimental burning and associated studies at two sites in the south-west of Western Australia.