Fire is an intrinsic part of our landscape, shaping vegetation communities and ecological systems whilst being deeply embedded with cultural and social facets that shape our history and connectedness to Country.
Fire is a human story and under the escalating risks of climate change, Australia is fast becoming a continent of more uncontrolled fire. Global warming – the result of fossil fuel burning – means bushfires will become more frequent and severe. Of course, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we must do more than that.
Fire is not just an academic problem. Australians must urgently adapt to our fiery future.
The Fire Centre drives collaboration using a pyrogeographic lens, integrating a commitment to diverse points of view, which brings together biophysical, social, cultural, ecological, epidemiology, disaster management perspectives to solve the complex problem of 'Living with Wildfire'.
The Fire Centre brings together researchers, fire practitioners, land management agencies, communities and individual land owners, providing the research platforms and resources to problem solve and empower our coexistence with Wildfire.
At the Fire Centre, we focus on bringing together science, community and culture to facilitate transdisciplinary, translational science resulting in local and global solutions that protect our ecological systems, cultural connections and empower community preparedness. We strive to include diverse perspectives not traditionally heard from in fire science, such as social scientists, legal experts, medical professionals, indigenous people, women, and minorities, among many others.
Scientific research on its own is merely academic. We believe that research must be translated into actual solutions to community problems. This involves collaboration and co-design among diverse perspectives, both in terms of expertise and background, across all levels of government agency, councils and community groups. More importantly, it means providing communities with the technical expertise to develop their own local fire-preparedness solutions.
In Australia, we live in a landscape embedded with tens of thousands of years of indigenous fire-management practices. As fire scientists and practitioners, it is our imperative to understand traditional fire-management practices and engage with local First Nation communities Through understanding and incorporation of Indigenous knowledge we can develop landscapes management practices that will allow us to more sustainably coexist with fire.
The Fire Centre Bushfire Research Hub
Applied, co-designed research using a combination of field, social, geospatial and experimental methods to develop translational pathways that educates community, fostering connections with fire from both cultural and risk mitigation perspectives.
Fire is one of the biggest drivers of change in the Australian landscape
There are trade-offs between the needs of culture and society, and ecology and biodiversity. And, as the earth warms, our fire landscape is changing. How do we ensure that we are using fire in a sustainable way? And as wildfire becomes more common, how can we prepare for what is coming?
Professor David Bowman
Fire Centre Director, ARC Laureate Fellow
Our Research Partners
Fire Centre Research Hub, The University of Tasmania Private Bag 55, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
‘The Fire Centre acknowledges the Palawa and Pakana people as the traditional and ongoing custodians of lutruwita (Tasmania), paying respect to their culture and identity which has been bound up with the Land, Sea, Waterways and Sky for generations. The Fire Centre commits to being culturally inclusive and respectful in our relationships”