Fire danger is projected to increase across much of Tasmania under ongoing climate change, with the fire season starting earlier in the year, and lasting for longer. Prescribed burning is currently the only effective method of managing bushfire risk at the landscape scale in Tasmania and is generally carried out during autumn (and to a lesser extent spring), when weather conditions allow low intensity burns to be safely managed.
This report investigates the changing conditions for prescribed burning in Tasmania under climate change, with a focus on three aspects:
1. seasonal and monthly changes in the climate variables that determine when prescribed burning can be applied (rainfall, temperature, fuel moisture and atmospheric stability)
2. the frequency and distribution of daily weather patterns associated with atmospheric instability and extreme fire danger
3. changes to broad vegetation types that may result from the interaction between climate change and frequency of burning
Citation: Harris, R.M.B., Remenyi, T., Fox-Hughes, P., Love, P., Phillips, H.E., Bindoff, N.L. (2018) An assessment of the viability of prescribed burning as a management tool under a changing climate. A Report for the National Bushfire Mitigation – Tasmanian Grants Program (NBMP). Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Australia.