Why study fire?

National Parks and Wildlife Service studies fire to use as a tool to help conserve and manage native ecosystems, and to find ways to help reduce the harmful impacts of bushfire.

We use the best available global, national and local science, data and knowledge and adapt our activities based on the latest information.

We also review current research across the globe, on multiple aspects of fire management such as ecology, fire behaviour, planning, risk analysis, climate change etc.

Working with others

We work with bushfire researchers and other organisations to further our knowledge and improve the way fire management activities are carried out.

Research projects range from examining the effects of changing fire regimes (i.e. the pattern, frequency and intensity from a bushfire) on local wildlife, to how best to use this information during a prescribed burn.

Highlights include:

Engaging the University of Melbourne to provide training for fire management staff in the latest fire ecology concepts and research findings, to ensure minimum standards and knowledge on the environmental considerations that underpin the NPWS prescribed burning program.

Working with universities to support PhD and Australian Research Council research projects in fire ecology and management relevant to South Australian ecosystems.

Participating in national research programs such as the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre and its successor, Natural Hazards Research Australia. These programs explore solutions to national research problems directly relating to the needs of agencies like NPWS.

Being a member of the Centre of Excellence for Prescribed Burning, a practical and useful hub for practitioners to share knowledge and experience, to increase capability. NPWS coordinates a national Fire ecology community of practice group, as part of this membership, for land management agencies across the county to focus on shared issues, and work towards standardising how data is collected, managed and shared.

Being a part of the Australian and New Zealand National Council for Fire and Emergency Services (AFAC) enables collaboration on resources, national standards and best-practice guidelines. This membership also gives support to NPWS on using research to help guide the fire management program.