Panel session at the Fire Behaviour and Fuels conference 2016
Panel session at the Fire Behaviour and Fuels conference 2016
11 Apr 2016

Fire behaviour and fuels global links

A joint panel discussion between experts in Australia and the US on fuels management was a highlight of a CRC sponsored conference last week.

The program for the 5th Fire Behaviour and Fuels Melbourne conference was in both Melbourne, Australia and Portland, Oregon, with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and its Victorian partners hosting the event for the first time.

Around 280 people attended the International Association of Wildland Fire conference in Melbourne, with a further 350 in Portland.

The time difference between Melbourne and Portland allowed for some sessions overlapping with live presentations at one venue linked to the other by video. On the Wednesday, keynote presentations by the IAWF's Ron Steffens (in Portland) and Dr Kevin Tolhurst (in Melbourne) were shared. On the Thursday, the joint panel session discussed the international aspects of planned burning and took questions from the audiences at both venues.

The full program featured two workshops, 76 speakers, an international panel session, three PhD Three Minute Thesis, two field trips, and plenty of opportunities for networking.

The week started with two workshops at the Bureau of Meteorology - on grassland fuels and fire weather. The conference ended with two field trips to assess bushfire risk in the Dandenong Ranges or to view the mountain ash forests hit by the 2009 Black Saturday fires.

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC promoted its research program in the exhibition areas at both Melbourne and Portland, and led an active discussion on conference topics on social media.

This IAWF conference occurs every three years, with the last in 2013 in both North Carolina and St Petersburg, Russia. The Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre was the venue in 2016.

The conference theme was Wicked problem, new solutions: our fire, our problem.

Keynote presentations - Ron Steffens and A/Prof Kevin Tolhurst

Panel discussion 

Vicki Christiansen, Associate Deputy Chief, US Forest Service

The full program for Melbourne and Portland is on the conference website:


(no venue located)


Dr Sarah McCaffrey
29 April, 2016 | Much of what we believe about the public's response to bushfire risk is wrong, according to visiting US researcher Dr Sarah McCaffrey.

Dr Kevin Tolhurst (left) receives the Ember Award from IAWF Vice-President Alen Slijepcevic.
19 April, 2016 | Dr Kevin Tolhurst has been internationally recognised for his contribution to fire science.

Fires are now wicked problems
8 April, 2016 | The unbidden wildfire and other wicked fire problems was discussed and debated at the joint Fire Behaviour and Fuels conferences in Melbourne and Portland, Oregon.

Wind accounts for much variability in fires. Photo: New Zealand Fire Service
8 April, 2016 | Why is it that when it comes to the “wicked problem” of bushfire, we have put uncertainty to one side for so long?

Fire spread. Photo: CFA Communities and Communication
15 February, 2016 | Two exciting workshops to kick off, and two field trips to conclude the Melbourne component of the 5th International Fire Behaviour and Fuels conference - sign up now.

Fire behaviour and fuels conference logo
17 September, 2015 | Calling all fire scientists, the call for papers for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC-sponsored 5th International Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference is now open.

Type Title Credited author Credited author/s NON-CRC
Presentation-Slideshow Public response to fire management across countries: more similarities than differences Sarah McCaffrey
AFAC17 logo

AFAC17 logo

All the resources from our 2017 conference

National research priorities for natural hazards

National research priorities for natural hazards

National priorities for research

The Sir Ivan fire. Photo: Nick Moir, Fairfax Media

The Sir Ivan fire. Photo: Nick Moir, Fairfax Media

Research findings from 2017 NSW fires

Four years of highlights

Bushfire planning with kids ebook

Explore by keyword