California is ablaze, again. Currently, the second and third largest fires in the US state’s history are burning at the same time, and are only partially controlled. Already, seven people have died and 2,144 structures are damaged – and their fire season still has months to run.
The NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub undertook work to support the NSW Bushfire Inquiry. This work addressed key themes concerning the 2019/20 fires, namely their; historical and seasonal context; severity and behaviour; impacts on people, property and biodiversity; and influences on risk in the immediate future. The work is summarised in 19 reports spread across these themes, led by researchers from the University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University, University of Tasmania and University of New South Wales.
Last week saw an unprecedented outbreak of large, intense fires stretching from the mid-north coast of New South Wales into central Queensland.
The drought in eastern Australia was a significant driver of this season’s unprecedented bushfires. But it also caused another, less well known environmental calamity this summer: entire hillsides of trees turned from green to brown.
As bushfires in New South Wales are finally contained, attention is turning to nature’s recovery. Green shoots are sprouting and animals are returning. But we must accept that in some cases, the bush may never return to its former state.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains images and names of deceased people.
Australia’s bushfire crisis has been unprecedented, so it demands an unprecedented national response. Never before has such a large area been burnt by multiple fires in a single fire season, including bushland in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.
How do you support people forever attached to a landscape after an inferno tears through their homelands: decimating native food sources, burning through ancient scarred trees and destroying ancestral and totemic plants and animals?
Images of desperate, singed koalas in blackened landscapes have come to symbolise the damage to nature this bushfire season. Such imagery has catalysed global concern, but the toll on biodiversity is much more pervasive.
Learn how the Bushfire Hub is delivering world-leading, cost-effective research that will drive positive transformation in how bushfire is managed in Australia.