2019 Tasmanian Fires: Impacts and Management Lessons

By Prof. David Bowman The widespread rains that fell on 7 February and subsequent cooler weather hopefully will alleviate the 2019 Tasmanian fire crisis. It is timely to take stock of this event and consider what bushfires ignited by massive dry lightning storms means for fire management of the Tasmanian landscapes, including the Tasmania Wilderness […]

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A diversity of voices is vital in the bushfire fight

A gathering of women fire researchers during the Tasmanian bushfire crisis has underlined the growth of research and engagement in fire science at the University of Tasmania. It has also highlighted the importance and positivity that a diversity of voices brings to understanding and managing bushfires. The lunch gathering was organised by the University’s Fire […]

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An American’s view of Tassie fires

Dr Crystal A. Kolden Associate Professor of Fire Science University of Idaho Fire Centre Visiting Scholar Let me be upfront — I’m only a guest here in Tasmania. I’m a fire scientist of 20-plus years from the United States, and currently associate professor at the University of Idaho. I started out my career as a […]

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How long will Tasmanian fire crisis last?

David Bowman Director — Fire Centre Research Hub Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science University of Tasmania No one could have predicted the current fire crisis. The vast areas burnt and under threat of being burnt by numerous bushfires are the result of a complex mix of climate factors, each on their own quite ordinary, […]

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The Health Ramifications of Smoke Exposure

30 January 2019 Fay Johnston, Associate Professor at the Menzies Institute and Fire Centre contributing researcher speaks with ABC Hobart’s Ryk Goddard this morning about the health risks from smoke exposure. While healthy people can handle moderate exposure to smoky air, people at risk, namely the elderly, young children, and those with underlying health conditions, […]

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Update on the Threat to Tasmania’s Iconic Gondwanan Vegetation

  28 January 2019 Fire Centre Director Prof. David Bowman speaks with ABC Hobart’s Ryk Goddard to give an update on the wilderness fires and the status of fire sensitive vegetation in Tasmania’s alpine areas given the current threat from out of control wildfires. While sensitive vegetation remains mostly in-tact there are some important conversations […]

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As Tasmania Burns it is Time to Prepare and Act

Over 50 Fires are currently burning uncontrollably around Tasmania. Over the holiday weekend 23-27 January, a statewide fire ban will be declared.  High winds and hot temperatures on Friday may create potentially dangerous blow-up conditions.  For residents of Tasmania who live in bushfire-prone areas, it is important to regularly check the Tasmania Fire Service Alerts […]

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Wildfire science is at a loss for comprehensive data

In 2013, a ferocious fire destroyed a small seaside village east of Hobart, Australia, the city where I live and work as a pyrogeographer. A newspaper photograph captured the terror of the firestorm: in it, a family shelters under a jetty in surreal, smoky orange twilight. Last week, spookily similar images from Greece, where people […]

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Research and technology collide to help Tasmanians breathe easier

For most people, every breath comes without a thought. But for some, taking in the outdoor air and scenery can literally be breathtaking. Through creative work and research Associate Professor Fay Johnston and her team have created a smartphone app to help bring simplicity back to breathing for Australians with asthma, hay fever and other lung conditions. […]

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Wildfire modelling study answers burning question for the first time

For the first time, researchers at the University of Tasmania have modelled how effective certain types of prescribed burning scenarios are in reducing wildfire risk at a regional scale. In the largest simulation study of its kind, the effectiveness of a range of hypothetical prescribed burning treatments was evaluated across Tasmania over a five-year period. […]

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