Changing climates are creating significant fire risks to Australian plantations. Fires are predicted to become more frequent and intense, potentially resulting in increased plantation losses to wildfire. Existing fire simulation models do not adequately represent fire in plantations due to inappropriate fire spread models and a lack of data for plantations throughout their lifecycle. Quantifying risks from wildfires to plantations under current and future climates requires modelling approaches that adequately represent fire spread in order to understand not only the exposure to fire, but the vulnerability to those fires. In this project, we aim to quantify risks to plantations from wildfire and the ability of management to reduce those risks. For multiple plantation landscapes across Australia, the project will deliver: region-specific models for predicting plantation fuel structure and fire behaviour; fire risk profiles for plantations and nearby community assets under changing climates; and underlying data for evidence-based decision making around fire risks to plantations and community assets under changing climates.
Project timeline: 08/2020 – 08/2022