Future-proofing against the impact of bushfires

Friday 17 Dec 2021

 
The latest episode of FWPA’s WoodChat podcast series places a focus on research efforts to increase the Australian timber industry’s bushfire preparedness, and capacity to minimise the adverse impacts of future fire events on forestry plantations.

The unprecedented bushfires of 2019/20 resulted in the destruction of many properties, a devastating impact on our wildlife, and the tragic loss of human life. Sadly, climate modelling predicts the extent of wildfires will continue to increase in Australia, and as a result the economic impacts of wildfires are also likely to rise.

In the forestry sector, fire poses a significant business risk for plantation companies, wood processors and manufacturers. This edition of WoodChat showcases a number of interesting and important forestry-related projects being conducted in response to the recent catastrophic fires.

Amongst the interviewees is Dr Tim Smith of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, who discusses proposed efforts to create a national network of research fire expertise, and generate salvage management options for harvest and storage operations following a fire event.

“We as an industry needed to have a better handle on how we dealt with post-wildfire events. Consequently, FWPA was looking for a program that would step through all the processes and impacts from a fire, and how the industry might respond to minimise fire impact and resource losses,” said Smith.

“The program would look to incorporate the findings of studies conducted previously and build on those to help develop clear guidelines for the industry to manage trees in salvage operations. “It’s about providing a decision support tree that can be used for optimised post-fire salvage response, customised to different regions and conditions.”

During the episode, the presenters also speak to Braden Jenkin, Lead Author of recently developed guidelines offering a summary of the collective knowledge of the Australian forestry industry around previous experiences in the salvage, storage and processing of fire damaged timber.

Listeners will also hear from Dr Dean Williams of Sustainable Timber Tasmania about the potential for fire detection and prediction technologies to be installed permanently within forest environments to inform better decision making around fire management.

You can listen to WoodChat on Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify.

Source: FWPA



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