Abstract for: Exploring Forest Fire Dynamics with the Loop Stock Transform

The Australian bush fires of 2019/2020 left more than 18 million hectares of land destroyed, accompanied by significant mortality, the destruction of homes, and billions of animal lives lost (UNEP, 2020). How do such terrifying firestorms start and grow? Who is to blame? How can we prevent future events? The paper attempts to investigate these questions through a system dynamics simulation. The method used in the article is an adapted 11 step system dynamics methodology, referred to as Loop Stock Transform (LST). The LST is the product of a Master’s thesis at the University of Witwatersrand (Du Plooy & Botha, 2021). It has a strong foundation in the systems engineering principles of validation, verification, and testing (Vee Model). The method dynamically demonstrated how slight changes in leverage variables lead to the firestorm's destructive force. The LST might prove valuable in the future by adding structure to learning system dynamics and evaluating simulation development.