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International Specialists To Debate Forest Fires

The Heat Is On — International Specialists In New Zealand To Debate Forest Fires

Over 180 international specialists will converge on Christchurch this week for the biennial Bushfire Conference, the first time this conference has been held outside Australia. Held in conjunction with the Forest and Rural Fire Association of New Zealand’s (FRFANZ) annual conference, participants include scientific researchers and fire and land managers from New Zealand, Australia, the US, Southeast Asia and Algeria. Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon George Hawkins, Christchurch Mayor, Gary Moore, NZ Fire Service Commissioner, Dr Piers Reid and the National Rural Fire Officer, Murray Dudfield will also be in attendance

The theme for Bushfire 2001 is “Fire behaviour and its applications in fire management” with strong emphasis on fire behaviour and fire risk modelling, and including practical fire management solutions.

Delegates will review the latest advances and concepts in bushfire-related sciences. Keynote speakers include Dr Malcolm Gill from Australia’s CSIRO who will talk about bushfire behaviour and its relationship to fire management, and Mr Rick Gale from the US National Park Service in Montana who will lead a session on managing large fires, and firefighter and public safety. This session will also include Australian and New Zealand perspectives on last year’s firefighting deployment to the US.

Running concurrently with the Bushfire Conference, the Forest and Rural Fire Association of New Zealand conference will focus on “Fire weather and fire behaviour — what everybody should know”, a theme that continues the fire safety emphasis of recent FRFANZ conferences. It will include several presentations on aspects of the recent Blenheim wildfires.

The conference has been co-organised by the Forest and Rural Fire Association and Forest Research which has a team of fire researchers based in Christchurch. The Forest Research fire researchers manage a comprehensive research programme and have developed fire behaviour models that predict how fast fires will spread in this country for different vegetation types under different conditions.

For more information on the joint conference (being held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Christchurch) or fire research in New Zealand, contact:

Ends

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