Short bio: Steve Pyne is presently a writer, urban farmer, and emeritus professor at Arizona State University, USA. His most recent books are "The Pyrocene", "How We Created an Age of Fire, and What Happens Next" and "The Great Ages of Discovery: How Western Civilization Learned About a Wider World".

Abstract:At the onset of the Holocene a fire-wielding creature met an increasingly fire-receptive world. By cooking food humans got small guts and big heads. By cooking landscapes they went to the top of the food chain. By cooking the planet they have become a geologic force. Until the late 18th century, all these processes occurred within living landscapes that came with ecological checks and balances. By reaching into the geologic past to burn lithic landscapes (once living, now fossilized), humanity’s power became unbounded, those boundaries broke, and what was a slowly maturing fire age accelerated.

Many observers lament that our future will be so strange that we have no narrative to connect it to our past nor an analogy to guide us. I disagree. We have a marvelous narrative – the continuous story of humanity and fire. And we have an apt analogy – that we have replaced an ice-informed epoch with a fire-informed one, the Pyrocene.

Short bio: Dr Sarah Harris is the Manager Research and Development at Country Fire Authority (CFA). Within this role, Sarah undertakes and drives best practice research and development that enhances corporate knowledge, community partnerships and operational capability in relation to wildfire risk.

Sarah has almost 20 years of research experience including completing her PhD at Monash University funded by NOAA Climate and Global Change Program, and as a Caltech Postdoctoral Research Scholar based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Sarah’s research focuses on the variability and change in fire weather, climate-wildfire links and prediction of seasonal wildfire activity, understanding fire behaviour and using remotely sensed data in wildfire applications.

Sarah is an active participant in several Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) groups, including Deputy Chair of Climate Change Group and Deputy Chair Predictive Services -Research Working Group and is a contributing author for IPCC 6AR Working Group II – Australasian Chapter. Finally, Sarah supports incident management throughout the fire season as a Fire Behaviour Analyst.

Abstract: Climate change is influencing our fire weather and the severity of our fire seasons, and this is projected to worsen. In order for Australian fire agencies to prepare and adapt for operations in a climate challenged world we need to better understand the extent climate change will influence wildfires in the future and therefore our operations. We examine the relationship between wildfires and climate in southeastern Australian and what this means in terms of operational readiness and response requirements as well as the uncertainties, implications, and potential to adapt.

Short bio: Peter has over 30 years of operational, management and policy experience in natural resources with an emphasis in fire management, system development, policy formation and implementation, national MRV systems, forest and land management including advice, evaluation and technical assistance to government agencies and the private sector in Algeria, Armenia, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Ghana, Greece, Indonesia, Kenya, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United States, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has published widely on fire management and community based fire management.

Peter has been engaged on a wide range of national and international natural resources related activities in many countries including planning, training and supporting the development of systems for fire management. His expertise and skill set is heavily focused on institutions and arrangements for forest and land use, with an emphasis on fire related management, planning, policy settings, coherence and coordination.

Until September 2021 he was Forest Officer Fire Management for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations where he leads engagement and consultation to confirm and define needs, facilitate planning of technical options and facilitate engagement and coordination on fire management projects and strategic programs with member state governments and across FAO. Presently his is consulting in fire management, natural resources and carbon accounting.

Abstract: Fire management appeared to be ‘simple’ in my past, starting in the early 1980s. There were some basic insights and relationships to grasp, organisations with long history and clear focus and mandates that had evolved to meet the needs and arrangements that matched those needs, including fire and its management. A triangle among them. The fire management situation further evolved, with some additional actors engaging. Technology and data strengthened some capacities and provided some new ones. The fire problem persisted and then it worsened. Some more new things, and more of the same things, some at larger scale were not changing the balance. The management of fires was an increasingly “wicked problem”, and on reflection had probably been one all along. Additional disciplines, actors, sectors and interest groups engaged, became involved and contribute strongly to improving understanding of our fire problem. They are represented at this conference as they should have been all along. With all of us involved and ‘on board’ how do we take the next steps and continuously improve? Useful insights can be found in the fire management past and applied to the fire management future, and we already know what they are – relationships developed, and engagement maintained over time among and between the actors and stakeholders at each ‘scale’, especially the local level. This 9th international conference on forest fire research is an example of enabling those relationships and engagement, and continuing that will be great fun!

Short bio:Elsa Pastor, PhD, Associate Professor at the Chemical Engineering Department of Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech and research scientist at the Center for Technological Risk Studies at UPC. She develops teaching and research activities in diverse fields related to wildfire management and technological risk analysis. Over the last 20 years, she has studied several aspects of fire behavior and dynamics by a multidisciplinary approach, combining both experimental and modeling techniques in a wide range of scenarios. She has profited from diverse fire environments (i.e. wildfires, wildfire research burning campaigns, outdoor large-scale industrial testing fields, compartment fires, laboratory set-ups, etc.) to observe monitor and analyze flames and their effect to different types of assets and ecosystems. She has been the leader of the European Project WUIVIEW (wuiview.org), aimed at designing, setting-up and operating a virtual workbench service for the analysis of fire risk in the surroundings of buildings at the wildland-urban interface. She is currently leading the research project WUICOM – BCN Fire resilient communities of Barcelona aimed at developing and implementing a holistic approach to analyse risk at Barcelona metropolitan area due to WUI fires, accounting for infrastructural, societal and ecosystems vulnerabilities.

Abstract:Wildfire is a gender-unbalanced natural hazard. In its overall cycle, wildfire management includes several types of activities and profiles in which gender roles are clearly distinguished. Past studies have already revealed gender inequality in fire agencies and fire industry, particularly showing even more low women representation in leading roles. Regarding gender participation in wildfire research, as an area mostly belonging to STEM disciplines (i.e. science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in which the existence of a gender gap has long been recognised, there are evidences to believe that women are also underrepresented. However, no ad-hoc analysis has so far been performed to quantify this disparity. This talk will present the first study of this sort in which a performance analysis of women in wildfire research has thoroughly been investigated. By means of literature and bibliometric surveys, the landscape of wildfire researchers is analysed together with the scholarly outputs and impact of women across 50 years of research, considering different geographies and subject areas. Moreover, key roles in wildfire science are identified and examined in terms of women representation and leadership. Results of this study are aimed to help promoting diversity and gender equality of rights and opportunities between men and women in our research field.

Short bio:Dr. Craig Clements is a Professor of Meteorology at San José State University and Director of the NSF I/UCRC Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center. He conducts research on fire weather, extreme fire behavior, fire-atmosphere interactions, field experiments, and observing the wildfire environment using Doppler lidar and radar. He received his PhD in Geophysics from the University of Houston, his MS in Meteorology from the University of Utah, and a BS degree in Geography from the University of Nevada.

Abstract:As wildfires are becoming more extreme across the globe, the role of the interactions between the fire and the atmosphere is becoming more relevant. This course will explore fire-atmosphere interactions at multiple scales starting with the micrometeorological scale of turbulence and how that is measured in the field. The course will then explore large wildfires and how plume dynamics affects atmospheric coupling and impact on fire behavior. Topics will include turbulence and turbulence spectra of the fire environment, sensible and latent heat fluxes, fire-induced circulations, and updraft and vertical velocity structures of both ordinary plumes and pyrocumulonimbus. Studies using both coupled fire-atmosphere modeling and observational methods will be described and used to illustrate these phenomena and how we can better understand extreme events. Finally, challenges of observing extreme wildfires and their associated meteorology are discussed as well as needed areas of improvement.

Short bio: Francesca is the co-ordinator of the fire forecast activities at ECMWF and leads the development of all fire prediction products there. The system she manages provides operational predictions to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) under the umbrella of the European Copernicus Emergency Management Services. Data are also available through the Global Wildfire Information System and create an integrated system that provides access to all fire related available information on a global scale.

Francesca has a background in meteorology and has been working on several aspects of atmospheric modelling. Since joining ECMWF in 2011, she has worked extensively on seasonal and sub-seasonal forecasting for sectoral application related to drought, fire and health, with a focus over Europe and Africa.

Abstract: The prediction of fire danger conditions allows fire management agencies to implement fire prevention, detection and pre-suppression action plans before fire damages occur. However, in many countries fire danger rating relies on observed weather data, which only allows for daily environmental monitoring of fire conditions.Even when this estimation is enhanced with the combined use of satellite data, such as hot spots for early fire detection and land cover and fuel conditions, it normally only provides 4to 6 h warnings. By using atmospheric conditions from weather forecast, early warning could be extended by up to 1–2weeks, allowing for greater coordination of resource-sharing and mobilization within and across countries.

Still weather forecast is affected by uncertainties that stems from the chaotic nature of dynamic complex systems so a trade-off between accuracy and information needs to be established. In this talk we will assess the capability of state of the art weather forecast to predict fire danger globally and analyse in detail three major events in Chile, Portugal and California. The analysis will show that the skill provided by an ensemble forecast system can extend to more than 10 days when compared to the use of mean climate, making a case for extending the forecast range to the sub-seasonal to seasonal timescale.

Short bio:Adam Watts tries to coordinate interdisciplinary teams to accomplish projects that are complex by the nature of their inherent systems, processes, and participants. These efforts primarily involve wildland fire, and they include the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE). Adam also brings his interests in fire ecology, technology development, and uncrewed aircraft systems to collaborations in the USA and elsewhere. His major goals include making a difference for humans and other species, both directly and through partnerships to enhance or protect their sustaining ecosystems. Adam’s past experiences have included work as an alligator biologist, Peace Corps agroforestry volunteer, and graduate work at the University of Florida. He works as a Research Biologist at the US Forest Service, and leads the Fire and Environmental Research Applications team at the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Lab in Seattle.

Abstract: As the global pandemic’s flow and ebb begin transformation to a wake, many of us long to resume the former pace of our projects, whether in the lab or on the land. We look forward to physical presence in places where we are used to elaborating our work together and applying it—like this conference. We also wish to recover ground lost to the pandemic and to once again see our lives’ work turn into an impact, with the special urgency imposed by the increasing pace of wildland fire crises facing our societies. At such a time, it seems appropriate to reflect on some of our hard-won lessons regarding the barriers that naturally or artificially arrive to stunt our progress, as well as those pathways or transformations that arise to aid our efforts or magnify their benefits. Beyond exploration of the pitfalls and opportunities that characterized the pre-pandemic world, are there aspects of changes brought about by the pandemic that change the landscape of risk and success?

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