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Gipps bushfire community conference
Living with bushfire is a reality in Gippsland and the resilience of the community relies on shared lessons and an understanding of how fire behaves, as well as its impact on the environment.
To explore the issues related to fires and the community, “Living with Bushfire: A Community Conference” will be held at Federation University Australia’s Gippsland campus in Churchill on Friday 3 October and Saturday 4 October 2014, with a separate field trip session taking place on Sunday 5 October.
Speakers will include Kevin Tolhurst on fire behaviour and CSIRO’s Justin Leonard on bushfire impact and housing vulnerability.
The Gippsland region has a special connection to our forests and natural resources. Over two thirds of the Gippsland region is forested public land (national parks or state forests) with many small communities living in close proximity to these forests, but the risk of bushfire, exists right across the landscape and preventing fires from occurring and preparing for bushfires is everyone’s responsibility.
Over the past 15 years the area has experienced a number of significant bushfires causing loss of life and property. Both the response to and recovery from these events has required a team effort with everyone contributing and working together.
Various agencies are responsible for the management and suppression of bushfire in the landscape. Some also work with communities during recovery after fire. The knowledge gained by these agencies, by local people from Gippsland communities and from researchers over the past 15 years has changed how we approach fire.
This information will be shared and discussed at a forum promoting interaction and knowledge exchange between agencies, the community and researchers.
While the protection of life and property are of prime concern, bushfire also plays a significant role in the health of our forests and wildlife. How community members and our natural environment cope with fire are the principal themes of this conference.
The conference will provide an opportunity for community members, fire agency staff, researchers and students to explore issues relating to fire in our region.
The conference aims to engage with all interested people and raise awareness in the community of the threat of bushfire and how best to prepare for the summer fire season. It also aims to provide a deeper understanding of the effect of fire on natural resources and to provide better opportunities for networking between researchers, agencies and the community.
For the most recent conference information and to register, go to: www.federation.edu.au/fireconference
The conference attendance fee is only $20 per day, which includes lunch and refreshments.
Department of Environment & Primary Industries
0427 409 619