The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Council (AFAC) has engaged Lew Short, Principal of Blackash as the Program Director for the review of the National Fire Danger Ratings System (NFDRS).

The NFDRS is a Nationally significant project. It is a phased five-year program intended to implement significant improvements to current national fire danger ratings system. Specifically, in areas of fire weather prediction, fire ignition and behaviour potential and the impact on life, assets and the environment.

The NFDRS is designed to strengthen the ability of fire authorities to accurately communicate bushfire risk to the community, enhance agency readiness and preparedness and contribute to risk management prevention (including input into building standards and planning controls).

The NFDRS project aims to improve community awareness of risk exposure, provide greater scientific accuracy behind decisions, advice and warnings and give communities greater confidence in the information being provided.

The NFDRS Program is complex as it represents a multi-year large scale program of work involving multiple government departments and emergency management agencies for all jurisdictions, and support from research organisations and Universities.

The Program has brought together the best research and knowledge from across different jurisdictions and has been championed by a Program Board consisting of deeply experienced operational members from each jurisdiction.

Blackash will work with the Program Board to review the Project Management Plan by the Project Management Office culminating in a report to ANZEMC regarding future implementation, future costs and scheduling of works in line with the Terms of Reference for the NFDRS National Program Board.

Lew Short will work with the Board which provides national leadership and advocacy regarding the working prototype.