Aboriginal cultural heritage vulnerability to bushfires and prescribed burning

Bushfire is an ever-present force in the Australian Bush. However, the majority of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage (ACH) remains unrecorded, and the impact of bushfires on that heritage is not well understood or predicted. As a bushfire moves through the landscape and encounters various types of ACH the vulnerability of that heritage will depend on the fire behaviour; the location of the heritage material (such as if it is on the surface or subsurface); the nature of the heritage object and its vulnerability to radiant of convective heat, embers, soot, smoke or other outputs of a fire burning through fuel. Understanding the predicted vulnerability of ACH is difficult as in any actual fire these variables and their impact on the heritage are difficult to accurately predict. The ACH Vulnerability to Bushfire Product is a first step towards better predicting the vulnerability of both known and unknown ACH to Bushfire. The ACH Vulnerability to Bushfire product is an initial attempt to map the vulnerability of Aboriginal Culture and Heritage to bushfire across NSW. It is based on the modelled potential distribution of ACH across the landscape in NSW as mapped in the Aboriginal Sites Decision Support Tool (ASDST)1. The product, and its method of derivation, has a range of applications to assess the vulnerability of various Natural Hazards or management actions to Aboriginal heritage. The effectiveness of the vulnerability product is based on developing a landscape scale understanding of the distribution of recorded Aboriginal Sites in NSW and applying a basic approach to produce a landscape-wide risk map that can be used to assess the vulnerability of ACH. The use of predictive methods is necessary to address the gap in knowledge about Aboriginal heritage in its totality across landscape – the majority of Aboriginal heritage has not been recorded due to gaps in where survey and assessment for Aboriginal heritage have been undertaken. Thus, the vulnerability product assists spatial assessment of the risk to all potential Aboriginal heritage in a landscape – in addition to the recorded Aboriginal heritage listed in the Aboriginal heritage information management system (AHIMS)2

Organisation: NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water

Ensuring a sustainable NSW through climate change and energy action, water management, environment and heritage conservation and protection. Read more

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Metadata template type Raster
Asset Type Dataset
Edition 1.0
Purpose Fire Planning
Update Frequency Irregular
OEH Service Fire and Incident Management
Geospatial Topic Disaster
NSW Place Name NSW
Geospatial Coverage

Dataset extent

Temporal Coverage From 2023-01-01 - 2024-01-01
Datum GDA94 Geographic (Lat\Long)
Licence Creative Commons Attribution
Landing page https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/opendata/dataset/aboriginal-cultural-heritage-vulnerability-to-bushfires-and-prescribed-burning
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Attribution NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water asserts the right to be attributed as author of the original material in the following manner: "© State Government of NSW and NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water 2024"