Fire is a major ecosystem driver in Australia. In recent decades there has been increasing general concern about fire management, specifically the impacts of uncontrolled fires on people, public safety, and environmental assets. Will fire frequency and severity change as Australia’s climate changes, and if so, how? How might these changes affect the ability of ecosystems to continue to deliver goods and services? What is the impact of fire on environmental carbon stocks and storage? Is there a fire management strategy that will minimise negative effects on our environment and communities?
TERN’s diverse research infrastructure is being used by our nationally networked science and management partners to work on many of these problems. On this page you will find regularly updated links to TERN’s projects and activities relevant to helping the Australian ecosystem science community increase our understanding and improve our management of fire in the landscape.
As Australia swelters through another hot summer with several large fires affecting different parts of the country, a team of researchers is busily creating the first national-scale, live fuel moisture content and flammability monitoring system. The new satellite-based technology is a potential game changer through the delivery of more efficient and effective bushfire preparedness and management across Australia.
New research using decades of monitoring data available through TERN has identified significant problems with historic fire management in one of Australia's premier National Parks: Kakadu. Despite the data painting a somewhat negative picture of the past, the research proposes economically viable carbon-market based solutions and vindicates recent park management actions that are delivering more sustainable and ecologically appropriate fire management in the reserve.
A research fellow from the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research is using TERN delivered data to map fire severity across the Top End for more informed regional fire management and more accurate national carbon accounting.
The South Australian Government have partnered with TERN to develop new techniques that improve state fire mapping, and understanding of fire location, extent and timing. The new methods use TERN’s satellite data products, and align with those of neighbouring states, in a significant step towards nationally consistent fire mapping.
TERN continues to be used by our science and management partners to advance Australia’s understanding of fire and fire management. We’ll be showcasing our open infrastructure and data at Bushfire16 and explaining how you too can use TERN to progress your research.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has made use of TERN eMAST and the NCI’s data services to publish key data on past and forecast projections of severe fire danger across large parts of south-eastern Australia—vital information for improved hazard reduction and fire management policy and practice.