Fire at the interface: fire on the rural-urban fringe

More than 40 invited Australian, New Zealand and United States researchers, practitioners and policy-makers will gather in Melbourne and Canberra next week for a research symposium focussing on bushfires on the urban-rural fringe.

The event is being organised by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre in conjunction with the departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Attorney General in Australia, and the US Department of Homeland Security.

The aim of next week’s meeting is to share knowledge on bushfire risk on the rural-urban interface and to explore areas for collaborative research projects in fire behaviour, rural-urban interface planning and community safety. There are already many research projects addressing various parts of this issue and there is substantial agreement in the value of linking the work of researchers internationally.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Bushfire CRC, Gary Morgan, said the symposium was one of the most high profile gatherings of leading fire experts from these countries to work on issues of common concern.

“Large fires have threatened communities close to bushland areas both in the Australia and United States in recent years. The most extreme fires have lead to deaths and loss of houses and community buildings.

“Fire and land management agencies in bushfire prone countries have recognised that they must continually strive to better understand what it means for people to live safely in these areas. We are confident this symposium will point the way forward for bushfire research.”

The group will meet in Melbourne on Monday 14 June and spend the last part of the week in Canberra, including meeting in Parliament House on Thursday 17 June.

Organisations involved:


Australasian organisations

Bushfire CRC

Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council

Country Fire Authority

CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems

Department for Environment & Heritage SA

Department of Environment and Conservation, WA

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Department of Attorney General

Department of Sustainability and Environment, Vic

NSW Fire Brigades

NSW Rural Fire Service

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service

SCION (New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd)

Australian National University

RMIT  University

Tasmania Fire Service

University of Melbourne

University of Wollongong


United States organisations


California Polytechnic

Department of Homeland Security

Fire Behaviour Science

FireWise Program-National Fire Protection Association

International Fire Chiefs Wildfire Comm.

US Fire Administration

US Forest Service

University of California, Berkeley-Wildland Fire Science

University of Utah


Release date

Fri, 11/06/2010