Recently completed UQ SFPE Student Chapter seminar series on wildfires

The UQ SFPE Student Chapter has prepared a program with a number of topics for 2022. For the first topic the chapter held three webinars related to wildfires, which are summarized below and may be of interest for some of our readers.

Dr Alex Filkov – Wildfires and Dynamic Fire Behaviours

The first seminar featured Dr Alexander Filkov from the University of Melbourne who covered different topics related to the wildfires and dynamic fire behaviours. Alex provided a comprehensive review on Dynamic Fire Behaviour (DFB) knowledge in a way that connects the weather, fuel and topographic factors that contribute to development of DFB. He also highlighted the importance of studying this phenomena as connected entities, considering that DFB has in the past been observed to worsen the impact of wildfires.  The recording for this highly recommended seminar is available here.

Seminar flyer for ‘Wildfires and Dynamic Fire Behaviours’ by Alex Filkov.
Images, provided by Dr Filkov, showing the range of scales and complex interactions that wildfire behaviour studies should consider.

Richard Whatley – Indigenous Fire Management: Kimberly Land Council Experience

The second seminar was kindly delivered by Richard Whatley, the Fire Program Manager from the Kimberly Land Council. In this presentation Richard explained how technology and knowledge about fire spread and prescribed burnings are combined in order to prevent more onerous bushfire incidents in the Kimberley Council and all across northern Australia. The presentation covered a number of topics from the historic context on traditional burning performed by Aboriginal communities, the problems that arose when these prescribed burnings stopped, and how traditional fire management has been reinvigorated to combine it with innovative technology (e.g. aerial spot ignition) and an empirical understanding of the bushfire spread. This approach can help to reduce the occurrence of large fires and improves land management for all stakeholders.

The recording for this insightful and fascinating seminar is available here.

Seminar flyer for ‘Indigenous Fire Management: Kimberly Land Council Experience’ by Richard Whatley.
Richard Whatley explaining the topography and characteristics of the land manged by the Kimberly Land Council and how different partitions may be created by controlled burns.

Dr Michael Gollner – Modeling Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface

The last webinar was presented by Dr Michael Gollner from UC Berkley. The seminar covered the mechanisms governing both wildland and WUI (wildland-urban interface) fire spread. The talk highlighted ongoing and completed research on both areas, including available knowledge and techniques that currently exist to reduce future fire losses. Future challenges in the field such as refined risk assessments, community design, and emergency response were also covered. The recording for this session is available here.

Seminar flyer for ‘Modeling Fires at the Wildland-Urban Interface’ by Michael Gollner.
Graphic showing the sequence of events and conditions that may lead to a WUI Fire Disaster, provided by Dr Gollner.

The University of Queensland SFPE student chapter would like to thank Alex, Richard and Michael once again for their profound insights and extends a warm invitation to attend our upcoming seminars. Please contact PhD students Julian Mendez, Tomas Bravo or Abdulrahman Zaben for further information. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn Eventbrite to stay up to date with our future events and register for the webinars. Access previous webinar recordings here.  

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