Expertise in the Management of Bushfires: Training and Decision Support

Stephan Lewandowsky, John Dunn, Kim Kirsner, M. Randell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bushfires have been a common occurrence across Australia for millennia. With the growing expansion of urban areas into surrounding bushland, fires pose an increasing threat to life and property. The extent of damage caused by a fire is a function of many variables, including the decision-making processes and expertise of bushfire-fighters. Previous research has shown that expert fire-fighters sometimes underestimate the importance of terrain variables when predicting the spread of a fire. This article reports two ways in which experts' predictions can be improved. First, an experimental comparison of training regimes shows that visual aids can facilitate the acquisition of a more integrative mental model of fire behaviour. Second, a computer-assisted display is proposed that increases the salience of critical variables in a simulation of bushfires.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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