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
Vicki Christiansen, Associate Deputy Chief, US Forest Service
The full program for Melbourne and Portland is on the conference website: www.firebehaviorandfuelsconference.com