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A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

Challenges from the 2019-2020 Fire Season in Australia - Role of Science to Improve WUI fires Understanding and Preparation

The 2019-20 fire season in Australia was another example of devastating WUI fires. The fires burnt 17 million hectares and resulted in more than 3000 houses destroyed and 33 people losing their lives. It was also the costliest bushfire season on record in Australia, approaching $AU100 billion. WUI fires are complex to understand, and their impacts vary across different scales. WUI fires involve diverse community circumstances and a wide range of fire arrival scenarios. After a brief presentation of the 2019 20 fire season challenges, this webinar explores building, landscape, and human resilience and vulnerability, using findings from post fire research and historical data analysis conducted by the CSIRO Bushfire Adaptation team in Australia. Broadly, the concept of resilience considers how quickly and easily communities can re establish themselves after a bushfire event. Enhancing community resilience involves many aspects, including; social cohesion, in depth knowledge of bushfires, effective urban design, effective regulation, and community engagement. These aspects are highly relevant, both during the initial development of a community and during the post bushfire rebuilding process.