Building Community resilience for Living with Fire
Whilst we've relied heavily on fuel reduction burns to reduce risk, it's less effective in hotter and drier conditions expected through climate change.
With bushfires set to be larger and more dangerous than those experienced in the past, additional measures, including cultural burning practices of First Nation Australians, needs to be more widely adopted. Indigenous knowledge of landscape fire needs to be integrated with mainstream fire management approaches and technologies, to suit local biophysical environments and their social, cultural, and historical contexts.
As a community, we need to balance ' know how with know why' and be willing to shift our focus towards empowering communities, to craft place-based adaptation pathways to coexist sustainably and safely with fire. This needs to be based on research insights to develop fuel management and risk mitigation strategies that enjoy social license.
The desired goal is Adaptive Action and Social Learning.
There are complex relationships between bushfire hazard, perceived risk and adaptive action. It is essential that we identify social adaptation pathways that use local communication interventions to build the neighbourhood knowledge, networks and capacities that enable community-led bushfire preparedness.
Building neighbourhood knowledge, networks and capacities are a core feature of community-led bushfire preparedness.
We know that neighbourhoods with high levels of positive community interaction, are more likely to access preparedness information and develop fire-adaptive behaviours.
Knowledge influences how we perceive risk, how we perceive responsibility and how we act.
The Fire Centre works closely with Local and State Government fire management agencies to deepen our understanding of the local bushfire socio-ecological conditions that help shape conversations and drive adaptive action. The following resources are useful starting points for understanding the National conversation around wildfires, and what can be done to increase resilience to bushfire in both your home and communities
Understanding Wildfire- the science and changing nature of wildfire and what this means for local and global communities
Our communities and environment are increasingly being exposed to wildfire and the term 'unprecedented' is no longer fit for purpose- increased fire risk is the new norm. As a fire-prone country, bushfires are set to be larger and more dangerous than those experienced in the past. This collection of resources highlights the national conversations being had around wildfire and the call from researchers,communities and risk management agencies for urgent action.
Taming the Flame, from local to global extreme wildfire.
The surge of extreme wildfires around the world, most recently in Canada, provides a frightening glimpse of the potential for intense fires driven by climate change to cause remarkable damage to human and environmental life.
The bushfire royal commission has made a clarion call for change. Now we need politics to follow.
The bushfire royal commission today handed down its long-awaited final report. At almost 1,000 pages, it will take us all some time to digest. But it marks the start of Australia’s national disaster adaptation journey after a horrendous summer.
Tasmania’s forests are burning more as climate change dries them out. Our old tools can’t fight these new fires. The summer of 2021-22 will be remembered for the extraordinarily destructive flooding across eastern Australia. At the same time, however, western Tasmania was experiencing extreme drought, with some areas receiving their lowest rainfall on record.
New research in Arnhem Land reveals why institutional fire management is inferior to cultural burning. One of the conclusions of this week’s shocking State of the Environment report is that climate change is lengthening Australia’s bushfire seasons and raising the number of days with a fire danger rating of “very high” or above. In New South Wales, for example, the season now extends to almost eight months.
Asking people to prepare for fire is pointless if they can’t afford to do it. It’s time we subsidised fire prevention. Once again, Australia is on fire. This year it’s the turn of Western Australia and South Australia, where bushfires are threatening homes and lives. In the south of Tasmania, conditions are dry and the region is entering a period of peak fire danger.
We are professional fire watchers, and we’re astounded by the scale of fires in remote Australia right now. While southern Australia experienced a wet winter and a soggy spring, northern Australia has seen the opposite. Extreme fire weather in October and November led to bushfires across 120,000 square kilometres of southern savanna regions.
Short courses- online, self-paced learning opportunities to expand your knowledge and help plan for 'living with fire'
A range of short courses developed by the University of Tasmania and The Fire Centre. Discover the fascinating science behind wildfire and learn how to co-exist safely and sustainably with fire. Register your interest using the links.
Bushfires and Your Health
Bushfires and Your Health is a short course covering the physical and mental health impacts of bushfires and bushfire smoke, and what you can do to reduce your risk. The course has seven modules covering:
Living With Fire
Enrol now for this free online course As the world warms, wildfires are behaving in new, less predictable ways, which present fundamental challenges to our established methods of preventing, fighting and living with fire. And with increasing populations on the wildland-urban interface, we urgentl...
Resilience at Home- expand your knowledge for 'living with fire' and build resilience at home and in the community.
Developing an understanding of what to expect and preparing for Wildfire is an important part of building resilience and adaptive strategies to the escalating risk of bushfire disaster. Flammability lists, bushfire plans, and fuel management strategies are useful starting points for preparing our homes and garden landscapes.
We need to really understand what leaving early means and we need to be thinking about where we're going to and how.
TFS Bushfire Prepare Act Survive guidelines
Your home is more likely to survive a bushfire if you have prepared it properly. The most important job is to create a defendable space, an area around your home where you have modified the vegetation and removed most flammable material to reduce the fire's radiant heat intensity.
After a bushfire: your steps to recovery
Even after a bushfire has passed or been put out, conditions can still be dangerous. Embers, toxic smoke from burning materials, damaged buildings and unstable burned trees can be a risk to your safety.
CSIRO Bushfire best practice guide
Learning basic fire science will help you understand bushfires
Low Flammability Plants
Destructive wildfires are becoming more common in many parts of the world and are predicted to worsen with climate change. One approach to reducing wildfire spread is to plant “green firebreaks” – strips of vegetation made up of plants with low flammability.
Fire Retardant Plants
A downloadable document from the TAS Fire Service to help you identify plants that are more resistant to bushfire.
Landscaping for Bushfires
A collection of documents that provide ideas for landscaping your property appropriate to your area. Suitable for those living in a coastal, rural, suburban orhilly environment.
Reading Library-books and stories and other resources to inspire conversation and connection to Fire.
A collection of resources selected to deepen our knowledge of First Nation cultural and ecological connection to Fire and resources that share, document and tell the story of Fire.
Firesticks Alliance; Cultural Burning: healthy communities, healthy landscapes
Amplifying Indigenous cultural burning voices
The Cultural Burning Knowledge Hub
Looking After Country with Fire by Victor Steffensen/Sandra Steffensen
Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World
Fire Country: How Indigenous Fire Management Could Help Save Australia
Fire Centre Research Hub, The University of Tasmania
Private Bag 55, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
Acknowledgement of Country:
‘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”
Copyright© 2023 - The Fire Centre