Abstract: Human behaviour is influenced by many psychological factors such as emotions, whose role is already widely recognised. Another important factor, and all the more so during disasters where time pressure and stress constrain reasoning, are cognitive biases. In this paper, we present a short overview of the literature on cognitive biases and show how some of these biases are relevant in a particular disaster, the 2009 bushfires in the South-East of Australia. We provide a preliminary formalisation of these cognitive biases in BDI (beliefs, desires, intentions) agents, with the goal of integrating such agents into agent-based models to get more realistic behaviour. We argue that taking such “irrational” behaviours into account in simulation is crucial in order to produce valid results that can be used by emergency managers to better understand the behaviour of the population in future bushfires.