Virtual Fire Forum 2020

Applying Fire Science for a Brighter Future

Days:  Tuesday 23; Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 June 2020
Time: 10.30 – 12.00 (AEDT) each day
About: This IFA/AFG’s Virtual Fire Forum is designed to unpackage the latest forest fire science and best practice forest fire management.  The Forum will discuss how we can adapt and respond to the challenges of a changing climate as well as catastrophic bushfires, in order to move towards a brighter future for Australians, our flora and fauna and our forests.  

RFP CPD hours: 4.5

Session One: Review of the 2019/2020 fire season

Tuesday 23 June 10:30am– 12:00pm AEST

Session Chair: Bob Gordon
 # Introduction and summary of the fire season;  Honorary Associate Professor Kevin Tolhurst AM
 # Case Study: Victoria and NSW Plantations impacted by fire; Ruth Ryan & Tim McGuffog
 # Case Study: Kangaroo Island, SAGary Featherston
 # Case Study: Queensland,Craig Welden
 # Case Study: Recovery in NSW, Euan Ferguson

Session Two: Emerging technologies & science to support fire management

 Wednesday 24 June, 10:30am - 12:00pm AEST

Session Chair: Michelle Freeman
 # Fire Danger Rating System, Stuart Matthews
 # Emerging technologies, Peter Woodgate & Eva Rodriguez
 # Application of recent technologies in supporting fire management, Speakers tbc
 # Remote fire detection, Stefan Peters
 # Use of IT to best determine travel time to fires, Speakers tbc
 Session Three: What can land and fire managers do in working towards meeting the national policy’s strategic objectives?
Thursday 25 June 10:30am – 12:00pm AEST

Session Chair: Neil Cooper
 # Effectively Managing the Land with Fire, Kevin Tolhurst
 # Involved and Capable Communities, Speakers tbc
 # Strong Land, Fire and Emergency Partnerships and Capability, Craig Welden
 # Actively and Adaptively Managing Risk, Rob Caddell

For more information about the speakers, their biographies are listed below.


IFA/AFG member: $40
Non-member: $95
Student member: $15

Registration closes: Friday 19 June

Please note:
 - Registration will provide access to all three sessions.
 - For those who cannot participate live in all the sessions, everyone who registers for the virtual Fire Forum will receive a link to the recording to view later.
 - When you register, please provide the email address that you will use to access the virtual Forum.

Click here to register


With thanks to the following Sponsors for their support

There are additional sponsorship opportunities available, please contact for more information

Speaker's Biographies

Gary Featherston
Gary is a qualified and registered forestry professional with extensive experience as both a senior public forest manager and a consultant. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Foresters Australia. Gary used his extensive wildfire experience to undertake the role of Bushfire Consultant for AFAC for seven years. During this time, he commenced the National Burning project to provide a national framework for burning.

As a field forester, he has extensive experience in the management of forests for multiple objectives including the safe and environmentally responsible harvesting of native forest and plantations for timber.

Stuart Matthews, Principal Project Officer with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.
Stuart joined the NSW RFS in 2015 after 11 years with the CSIRO Bushfire Dynamics and Applications team. While at CSIRO Stuart led the development of landscape fuel moisture models to aid in the prediction of fire spread and planning of prescribed burns. He also contributed to understanding the effect of climate change on fuels and fire risk.

He has a PhD in meteorology completed in 2003. At the RFS Stuart is responsible to developing tools and systems to support fire behaviour predictions, including an ensemble modelling system. He has also been closely involved in supporting research projects to develop improved fire behaviour models. Currently Stuart is leading the NSW RFS contribution to the implementation of the Australian Fire Danger Rating System.

Stefan Peters, Lecturer in Surveying and GIS in the STEM unit at UniSA
Stephan's educational background is Cadastral Surveying, Geodesy, Geoinformation, GIS, and Computational Cartography. Before joining UniSA in 2017, Stefan has worked as a Lecturer in Geoinformatics at the University Technology Malaysia after obtaining a PhD in Cartography from the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

As a geospatial scientist, Stefan’s interest is in exploring how geographic data can be turned into meaningful information. His specialization is in the area of applied Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis and Web Cartography. Several of his projects are linked to forestry research using Remote Sensing for diverse applications, including fire detection from space, forest growth modeling using airborne and UAV based LiDAR sensors, and the use of cloud-based satellite image processing to estimate water usage of trees.

Craig Welden, Coordinator – Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium
Craig is the coordinator of the Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium (QFBC), a program administered by Healthy Land and Water.
Craig has worked in the Natural Areas Management field for over 25 years, developing extensive skills and knowledge in fire management, weed and pest animal control, restoration works, flora and fauna surveying and disaster management.

Craig has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science – Protected Area Management and Wilderness Reserves and Wildlife from the University of Queensland. He is currently a volunteer firefighter with the Rural Fire Service Queensland, and in his spare time enjoys the challenge of maintaining his family’s bushland property which is registered as part of the South East Queensland Land for Wildlife program. He has worked with many local Governments across Queensland.