Bushfire Research

Event Name
Bushfire Research
1 June 2020
10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Address (Room): Zoom details to be provided once you RSVP your attendance via Eventbrite


The university Research Theme Champions invite all interested Western Sydney University researchers to two Theme Storm events on Bushfire Research. In the first event on 1st June we will hear from a number of researchers and research groups across the University who will summarise existing research initiatives and research capacity in bushfire research and identify what are some of the key problems being addressed by their research and community engagement. Western Sydney University is involved in significant ways in bushfire research as part of the NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub and the Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC, among other important initiatives.

Taking advantage of this, in our second event planned for August we will be hearing from a number of our partners in academia, government, Indigenous organisations and private sector, to develop a better understanding of current industry, government and local community needs, and future opportunities in the current funding landscape for addressing collaborative bushfire research. The bushfires from mid 2019 to February 2020 burnt an estimated 10 million hectares in southern Australia, according to CSIRO. These globally unprecedented forest fires burned roughly a fifth of Australia’s temperate forest biome, following an extended period of drought amplified by climate change. An estimated one billion animals were killed and some endangered species may be driven to extinction. At its peak, air quality dropped to hazardous levels across many Australian cities and NASA estimated that 306 million tonnes of CO2 had been emitted.

During the crisis 34 people died and as of April 2020, close to 18,000 Australians remain internally displaced. An estimated 5,900 buildings were destroyed and the response and recovery effort exceeded the A$4.5 billion with tourism sector revenues falling in more than A$1 billion. Aboriginal people were among those most affected. Yet aside from renewed public interest in cultural burning practices, Aboriginal people have received little attention in the post-bushfire response. Climate scientists and ecologists are showing that climate change influences the frequency, seasonality and interannual variability of suitable prescribed burning weather conditions in south-eastern Australia. Indigenous leaders say Australia's bushfire crisis shows the approach to land management is failing and have called for a new workforce of 'fire practitioners' to implement traditional burning practices across Australia.

In this critical context, interdisciplinary and cross sector research collaborations are more urgent than ever to work with government, local communities and businesses across health and wellbeing, urban living futures, education and work, and environment and sustainability. Our research on bushfire and fire risk is diverse and not only driven by impact but an also an aspiration for creating conditions for positive social change, and working with affected communities in preparing for and responding to future crises.

Please RSVP your attendance through Eventbrite by 5pm Wednesday, 27 May 2020. Link - https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/bushfire-research-tickets-105475784912

Name: Juan Francisco Salazar Sutil


School / Department: School of Humanities and Communication Arts