Future Fire

Predicted hotter and drier climates will modify wildfire intensity, extent, frequency, and seasonality. The Future Fires program will use strategic foresight and cutting-edge models to anticipate and help prepare for the wildfires of the future.

Changing climate – changing fire

Climate change is affecting both the nature of fire, and our interactions with it. Predicted hotter and drier climates for Australia will modify wildfire intensity, extent, frequency, and seasonality. Human populations are also rapidly expanding, placing greater demands on ecosystem services, and increasing encounter rates between people and fire. Recent wildfire disasters around the world are stark reminders of the urgent need to improve our preparedness for changing fire regimes.

Managing future fire regimes requires broad scale thinking

While fire as a process drives regeneration in ecosystems worldwide, altered fire regimes can lead to profound ecosystem change and the approaches to managing these changes can be contested. Given this, a better understanding of how we will manage, and live with, future fire regimes is a key area of research focus. Addressing future fire regimes requires broad, transdisciplinary thinking across big temporal and spatial scales.

Future Fire research themes are wide ranging

The Future Fire program is an emerging capability within the FLARE Wildfire Research Group and seeks to take longer-term views and work across a range of disciplines.

It will develop the following areas of research and allow us to:

  • predict and anticipate the key threats posed by future fire patterns
  • explore how institutions will strategically manage change and the novel challenges from future fires
  • address the dynamic interdependencies between fire, climate, society, and environment values
  • provide a forum to explore the desirable futures
  • have both a national and international research scope

Projects we are currently working on in this field

Quantifying catastrophic bushfire consequences for energy network providers

Electricity networks face a number of competing challenges, including the regulatory requirement to deliver a reliable, modernised system that can operate under a changing climate. It is therefore important that energy providers consider the ...

Development of state-wide future fire risk estimates

Understanding how fire regimes are shifting with climate change and therefore how bushfire risks are changing is a key knowledge gap for many management jurisdictions in Australia, including biodiversity management. Preserving species and ...

Other Capabilities

Landscape Flammability

Environmental and human factors can strongly influence fire behaviour by changing the vegetation. Understanding the role of these influencing factors and the contribution of vegetation itself to fire behaviour is vital to better estimate landscape flammability.

Ecosystem Interactions

Our work aims to understand how fire regimes affect plants, animals and ecosystem function and in-turn how ecological processes such as post-fire vegetation growth interact to influence fire behaviour and risk.

Fire Behaviour

Fire behaviour research considers the mechanisms of fire spread across the landscape. Uncovering the physics behind it through innovative and novel approaches helps us develop and improve predictive models of fire behaviour.

Calling for PhD Candidates…