Bushfire risk and climate change: Panel discussion

DELWP

Managing bushfire risk in a rapidly changing climate - a conversation with experts

The Managing bushfire risk in a changing climate: A conversation with experts panel discussed research recently published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire which estimates a 50-200% increase in very high and severe fire risk days due to the impacts of climate change. They will address what these findings mean for bushfire risk in Victoria and how to work in partnership with communities to build resilience to bushfires.

The event featured FFMVic Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman, CFA Manager of Research and Development Dr Sarah Harris, Associate Professor Gary Sheridan, Principal Research Fellow in Ecosystems and Forest Sciences at The University of Melbourne, and Lyn Harwood, Mallacoota resident and member of the Victorian Government’s community-based bushfire management program.

Chris Hardman said Victoria was one of the most bushfire prone regions in the world and climate change and its impact must be at the forefront of our thinking, planning, and actions.

“It was an important conversation with some of Victoria’s leading experts and sharing knowledge that informs our approach to managing the increasing risk of bushfire, to protect our communities, environment and critical infrastructure,” Mr Hardman said.

Dr Harris also welcomed the opportunity to take part in the event.

“It’s exciting to contribute to discussions like these and hear from others, with expertise and experience of bushfire. Together we can work on how we prepare, respond to, and recover from fire events,” she said.

Associate Professor Sheridan said forest ecology research was essential to find the right balance in bushfire risk management.

“Climate change is making the management of natural resources an increasingly complex task, but research can support balancing the preservation of our forests with reducing bushfire risk,” he said.

Lyn Harwood will discuss her experience living through bushfires in Mallacoota.

“As a CFA volunteer and Mallacoota resident, I know how important it is for fire agencies to work with the community to share knowledge and develop plans collaboratively,” Ms Harwood said.

You can view a recording of the event below.

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