SUCS Seminar: Putting The Wet Stuff On The Red Stuff: An excursion into the annual Australian bushfire season
Wednesday, 19 February 2020 – 5:30 pm in LT2, Level 1, School of Chemistry [Map].
Light refreshments outside LT2 from 5:00 pm.
All welcome. No booking required. Free for SUCS members
NOTE: Attendees are encouraged to become SUCS members at the prices below. If you can’t pay in cash on the night, please purchase your membership through Eventbrite.
Speaker: Dr Ian Luck, Facility Manager, Magnetic Resonance Node, Sydney Analytical Core Research Facility, The University of Sydney
The 2019/20 bushfire season has already been labelled as the worst in the history of Australia, with over 5 million hectares impacted by fire in NSW alone. The Gospers Mountain fire, dubbed the Mega Blaze, dominated the fringes of Sydney for 79 days and is claimed to be the world’s largest ever forest fire to have started from a single ignition point, encompassing an area of 512 626 ha with a perimeter of 1380 km.
Public debate around bushfires has never been more active; the role of climate change, the strategies used to combat wildfires, mass destruction of native flora and fauna, perceived failures in fuel mitigation, as well as the ability to forecast and accurately predict fire behaviour and impact are all amongst the topics that have received much attention in social and mainstream media. Beyond the populist detractors, Australia has a strong and long‐established scientific track record of delivering valuable knowledge that helps us predict the behaviour and spread of fires, as well as providing practical and effective tools that allow us to reduce the social, economic and ecological impact of bushfires.
This talk aims to address a number of common questions and frequently misunderstood perceptions associated with bushfires in Australia, and will provide a better understanding of the parameters that influence fire behaviour. Topics discussed will include strategies used to combat wildfire, the differences between backburn, prescribed burn and indigenous fire‐stick farming, the role of scientists in contributing to the future of fire management, and why rain is not always the best friend of the front line firefighter.
When not wearing the dual hats of Facility Manager at the newly established Magnetic Resonance Node of Sydney Analytical and as the Chair of the Chemistry Safety Committee, Ian dons a red helmet as a Captain with the NSW Rural Fire Service. Ian has almost 20 years of experience in front line fire fighting and is actively involved with the RFS as a Brigade captain, district trainer and part of the Hawkesbury Group Officer mentoring program.