Research leader

Prof David Bowman Research Leader

Research team

Dr Steve Leonard Research Team
David Taylor Research Team
Prof David Bowman Research Team
Dr Grant Williamson Research Team
Dr Sue Baker Research Team
Dr Rebecca Harris Research Team
A/Prof Greg Jordan Research Team
A/Prof Arko Lucieer Research Team
Dr Tim Wardlaw Research Team
Dr Darren Turner Research Team
Dr Crystal Kolden Research Team

End User representatives

Sandra Whight End-User
Simon Watson End-User
Dean Williams End-User
Paul Black End-User
Samuel Ferguson End-User

In January 2019, over 64,000 ha of bushland burned in the Riveaux Road fire in Tasmania's southern forests. Most of area burned occurred in tall wet eucalypt forest. These forests are considered to be highly flammable in dry conditions, but fires are infrequent due to the generally cool, wet climate in which they grow. As a result, limited data exists on the behaviour and effects of wildfire in these forests.

Prior to these fires, extensive areas of these southern forests have been studied in-depth. In 2014, a large area of the forests that burned were mapped with aerial LiDAR, a remote-sensing technology that can characterise three-dimensional forest structure. Further, in 2016, detailed field-based measurements of fuel load, structure, and hazard were taken at 12 permanent plots which subsequently burned in 2019. Hence, the 2019 fires in Tasmania represent a globally-rare opportunity to characterise the severity of a large wildfire using pre-fire and post-fire data.

In October 2019, the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment in Tasmania, along with five other CRC end-users and the University of Tasmania, launched a project to use remote-sensing and field-based data to create a detailed case study of the 2019 Riveaux Rd. Fire, and to untangle the drivers of fire severity in tall wet eucalypt forests. To do this, the research team:

  • remeasured plots to assess tree mortality and changes in fuel loads post fire
  • acquired LiDAR data from a transect across a burned buttongrass-forest boundary on the Weld River enabling comparison with pre-fire LiDAR data
  • established baseline postfire LiDAR buttongrass-forest boundary transect on the Huon River at Blakes Opening.

Read the final report here.