Science media tour - journalists visit bushfire zone
A visit to the bushfire affected areas around Anakie and the Brisbane Ranges in Victoria brought a week long conference for science journalists to a close.
More than 500 journalists from around the world attended the World Science Journalists Conference in Melbourne (16-20 April). In addition to the day tour on the final day, the Bushfire CRC coordinated a session on "Wildfire: Friend or Foe" and an exhibition stand shared with other Cooperative Research Centres.
A busload of science journalists visited the township of Anakie and the nearby Brisbane Ranges National Park to see the impact of the fires that burnt the area in January 2006. Over one week, these bushfires destroyed three houses, killed many native and farm animals, and burnt around 40 percent of the national park. Now more than a year since the fires, the regeneration of the bushland is well underway with scores of blackened trees contrasting against the vigorous regrowth of the bush.
The tour was led by Bushfire CRC chief executive officer Kevin O'Loughlin and senior researchers John Handmer, Mark Adams (pictured above), Justin Leonard (pictured right) and Kevin Tolhurst. Bob Barry from the CFA and Stuart Willsher from Parks Victoria provided a valuable local input to the tour.
Earlier in the week, a session on "Wildfire: Friend or Foe" attracted interest in the main part of the conference. The Bushfire CRC and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems brought together a panel of experts who discussed the impact and broader issues connected with fire both in the tropical north of Australia and in southern Australia.