Fire Weather Workshop 2013

Fire Weather Workshop - group

The Fire, Weather and Risk Workshop brought together 94 participants to Busselton, Western Australia in mid May 2013.

Held with the support of the Bushfire CRC, the Bureau of Meteorology, WA’s Department of Environment and Conservation and Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the workshop brought weather, fire modelling and risk assessment researchers together with forecasters and fire management officers to discuss a wide range of issues, with an emphasis on the transfer of the research to operations.

The agenda covered the latest research, forecasting practices, operational applications, bushfire risk management, technology and training. The packed program included eminent international and national speakers and featured a tour of the 2011 Margaret River fire site – an event used by several speakers to illustrate issues faced by practitioners. The workshop program provided an entertaining and thought-provoking three days that were a major professional development activity for attendees. Outcomes of the workshop will soon be published.

The workshop participants enjoyed the expertise of a range of very highly credentialed national and international researchers who provided a wide range of thought provoking and comprehensive research outcomes, and identified gaps in our collective knowledge. Whilst much of the research work is still to be developed, it clearly demonstrated that there is much that we have learnt and much more still to learn.

This workshop provides a step down of the process of integration, and encourages the liaison and discussion between researchers and the users of that research.

The goals of the workshop were to:

1. Foster liaison between meteorologists, researchers, risk managers and fire agency practitioners and managers;

2. Help practitioners keep up to date with the latest developments; and

3. Provide feedback to researchers on the operational needs of forecasters, risk managers and fire officers.

The organising committee believes that the workshop goals were achieved.

The organising committee wishes to thank the participants and the researchers for making the workshop a success. The participants also viewed the area that was significantly burnt in an escaped prescribed fire around Margaret River in 2011, and discussed the unique fire weather issues in the area, and the recovery of both the vegetation and the community.

Two years ago this workshop was held in conjunction with the Bushfire CRC and AFAC annual conference in Sydney.

The previous workshop in this series was held in Bowral NSW in 2011. The Bowral workshop final report can be found here.