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 first webinar of the series is Weather, fuel and dryness: how unusual was the 2019-20 fire season?
In this seminar we examine how unusual conditions were in the lead up to and during the 2019-20 fire season. We present analyses on fuel dryness, fuel loads and fire weather. We show that available fuel was extremely dry, due to severe antecedent drought across NSW. Fuel loads were highly variable across NSW at the start of the fire season. However, on average, fuel loads were no higher than previous seasons. Sustained periods of adverse weather conditions, including many days of record fire danger across NSW, contributed to the unprecedented size of these fires. The critical role of weather and climate in the 2019-20 fire season reinforces the need to monitor and account for such influences in bushfire risk management, particularly as the climate continues to change.
Presenters: Professor Ross Bradstock (University of Wollongong), Dr Rachael Nolan (Western Sydney University) and Dr Hamish Clarke (University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University).