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Managing Extreme Wildfires

Event overview:

The summer of 2019/2020 saw globally unprecedented levels of extreme wildfire activity in south-eastern Australia – hundreds of blow-up fire events and dozens of pyroCbs. The sustained outbreak of multiple violent pyro-convective events around New Year’s Eve has highlighted significant gaps in our understanding of extreme wildfires, but also presents a unique opportunity to enhance our knowledge. Indeed, as the influence of global warming on extreme wildfires becomes clearer, these Australian events provide the basis for lessons of global relevance – this is particularly important as the pace of change appears to be accelerating.
However, as the science surges ahead, there is less and less time to pass on lessons-learned to those who need them. It is essential that Australian fire services are kept informed of the latest developments in the science of extreme wildfires so they can better adapt to the changes in their operating environment.
To this end, this one-day workshop aims to provide an understanding of the problem and our options for managing it.

Who should attend?

The workshop is targeted at senior incident management personnel (especially in operations, planning and intelligence functions), fire management planners, and risk analysts. Extreme wildfires are impacting all eastern states (from Brisbane to Hobart and Adelaide) and the south-west of Western Australia, so people from these jurisdictions are particularly encouraged to attend. Four years ago, the world’s first tropical event may have occurred at Port Hedland in WA.


Adjunct Professor Rick McRae recently retired after 32 years as a fire management planner, arson investigator, bushfire scientist and risk analyst in ACT Emergency Services. He has deployed overseas and to Tasmania as an FBAN.
Professor Jason Sharples has led cutting-edge scientific studies into extreme wildfires for over 15 years.
Both are at UNSW Canberra, and are involved in international collaborations into extreme wildfires.

Price to attend: $75+GST
Date: Friday 8 October 2021
Time: 9:00 am to 02:00 pm