The department works 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 of a bushfire) on local wildlife to how best to use this information during a prescribed burn.
Current research projects and partnerships
Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre - The SA Government (including DEW) is a partner in the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre exploring the causes, consequences and mitigation of natural disasters. For more information visit the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre's website.
Orchid research project
- An orchid research project with the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum. This project is combining traditional plant and insect ecology with advanced molecular techniques to ascertain the effects of fire management on terrestrial orchids and their pollinators in fragmented landscapes of South Australia. For more information visit The University of Adelaide's website
Fleurieu Peninsula swamps fire trial - A Fleurieu Peninsula swamps fire trial with the Conservation Council of SA and the University of Adelaide, looking at the need for fire and slashing as disturbance tools to enhance habitat for flora and fauna in long undisturbed areas. A pilot for this study has been completed.
National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub
- The department is working on research opportunities as part of the National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub, administered through the University of Queensland. These projects will look at threatened species issues, including fire and fragmentation, as part of a national research agenda. For more information visit the Threatened Species Recover Hub website
The National Prescribed Burning Project
- The National Prescribed Burning Project with the other 31 national members of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council. The project will run over a five year period and will provide guidance that balances the operational, ecological and community safety and health risks from prescribed burning. For more information visit the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council's website
Bushfire Rapid Risk Assessment Team - The recent Sampson Flat bushfire saw the department partner with the Bushfire Rapid Risk Assessment Team from the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning (DELWP) in Victoria. This team helped us to assess the highest priority risks with the most pressing need for recovery.
Project FuSE - Project FuSE is a collaboration between the department and ensis (CSIRO Canberra) through the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre that explored fuel dynamics and fire behaviour in mallee and heath vegetation. View the Quick guide for fire behaviour in semi-arid mallee-heath (refer to How to use the Quick guide).
Examining changes in plant, reptile, beetle and bird populations with changing fire regimes in mallee reserves on central Eyre Peninsula - This is a collaboration between the department, Flinders University and the Australian National University (ANU). For more information on this project, see the Australia & Pacific Science Foundation. Also read about project on the ANU website.
Mallee Fire and Biodiversity Project - The Mallee Fire and Biodiversity Project determined whether varying inter-fire intervals (the time in between consecutive fires) have an effect on the types and abundance of woody understorey shrubs.
Climate Change & Bushfire Weather in SA - This pilot project aimed to asses if there was data available for other regions of SA that would allow us to calculate the Forest Fire Danger Index and assess future fire danger. You can view a summary of the project or download the final report.
Public perceptions of bushfire risk and conservation values - The department partnered with the University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide, and the former Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and Eyre Peninsula NRM boards, to look at public perceptions of bushfire risk and conservation values in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and lower Eyre Peninsula. For more information visit the University of South Australia's website.