The first four Fire Notes in a series of eight have been published by the Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub. They summarise the Hub’s research results in way that is useful for fire managers.
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The results of a two year study measuring particulate pollution around prescribed burns in NSW have been summarised in a paper published this week in the journal Atmosphere. This major body of work from Work Package 3 made ~5000 hourly particulate observations around 18 prescribed burns, finding that in most cases, poor air quality did not extend beyond 2 km from the burn during the day, but in the evening this generally extended to 5 km, including upwind from the burn. Two of the burns caused smoke impacts more than 20 km away in the Sydney basin. Evening particulate concentrations were higher in still, cool evenings. The abstract is shown below and full paper is available open access from the journal.
Last night the Bushfire Hub team was awarded the 2021 Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Research for our work on the NSW 2019-20 Bushfire Inquiry. The Eurekas are like Oscars of Australian Science so we are all thrilled to receive the award. 29 people worked on the 19 reports we gave to the Inquiry. They are: Ross Bradstock, Rachael Nolan, Mark Ooi, Hamish Clarke, Kat Haynes, Grant Williamson, Rebecca Gibson, David Keith, Trent Penman, Vanessa Cavanagh, Tom le Breton, Nicolas Borchers Arriagada, Owen Price, Steph Samson, Josh Whittaker, Matthias Boer, Michael Storey, Michael Bedward, James Barker, Todd Ellis, Ana Matala, Brett Cirulis, David Bowman, Greg Summerell, Matt Adams, Mary O’Kane, David Owens and Ria Pryce. Well done everyone!
Owen Price was asked to speak to a group of employees who are spearheading environmental initiatives at BUPA (healthcare) about how the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires affected biodiversity and what they could do about it. The answer lies in the complex ecology of fire that has a 400 million year history. Here is his recorded talk from September 9th 2021.
Dr Grant Williamson recently presented a webinar for AFAC and the Centre for Excellence in Prescribed Burning on the FireTools Cloud tool, including processing of time series and landscape metrics for biodiversity threshold status.
Following the devastating Black Summer bushfires, the NSW Bushfire Hub scientists paused their current research and answered the call from the NSW Bushfire Inquiry to investigate the causes and impacts of the bushfires. Over a short four months we produced 19 reports examining the role of drought, weather, fuel management and ignitions on the fires and the social and environmental impacts. Our findings directly influenced many of the NSW Inquiry’s recommendations, setting the direction for fire management into the future.
Around one year ago, Australia’s Black Summer bushfire season ended, leaving more than 8 million hectares across south-east Australia a mix of charcoal, ash and smoke. An estimated three billion animals were killed or displaced, not including invertebrates.
Ross Bradstock, founder of the Bushfire Hub, was awarded the status of Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong by the Deputy Chancellor, Dr Elizabeth Magassy, at a ceremony on December 8th, following his retirement in August.
The NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub webinar series presents the research projects undertaken by the Hub to assist the NSW Bushfire Inquiry, 2020. The Hub supported the inquiry by providing analysis, technical and scientific advice and recommendations to ensure the inquiry has actionable, evidence based and rigorous information.
The third webinar of the series is People and Country: Human impacts of bushfire and the benefits of Indigenous cultural burning.
Learn how the Bushfire Hub is delivering world-leading, cost-effective research that will drive positive transformation in how bushfire is managed in Australia.