Over three days in May 2021, the Nature Conservation Council’s Bushfire Program hosted their 12th Biennial Bushfire Conference Cool, Warm, Hot: the burning questions.

The online conference attracted more than 300 delegates with over 90 organisations participating.

There were 53 speakers, with presentations from the Former Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW Greg Mullins, the Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean, Emeritus Professor and author Bill Gammage, Professor David Lindenmayer, Dr Mark Ooi and many more.

Presentations investigated the effects of low, medium and high-intensity fires on the four sub-themes: climate change; fire ecology; ferals, weeds and restoration; and community resilience. The conference examined how to incorporate and respond to cool, warm and hot fires in fire management as part of an optimal fire regime to achieve multiple objectives for biodiversity and cultural values, hazard reduction objectives and community resilience.

Six session were recorded over the three days of the program. Watch the recordings below.


Tuesday 4th of May – Day 1

Session 1 – Chairs: Professor Don White and Rob Pallin || 0:03:55 Brendan Kerin – Welcome to Country || 0:08:20 The Hon. Matt Kean MP – Opening Address || 0:13:10 Trish Doyle MP – Address || 0:22:44 Kate Washington MP – Address || 0:32:50 NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Peter McKenchie – Address || 1:01:24 Dr Mark Ooi – The fire regime, fire diversity and biodiversity || 1:25:46 Bhiamie Williamson – Indigenous people in disaster recovery || 1:45:16 Chels Marshall – Species of culture, climate change and perception change || 9:30-11:30am Tuesday 4th May 2021 ||

Session 2 – Chairs: Dr Judy Lambert and Dr Grahame Douglas || 0:02:28 Emeritus Professor Bill Gammage – Managing fire || 0:18:27 Dr Mal Ridges and Geoff Simpson – Burning for Yunghadu: how Aboriginal culture became the binder for resilience in a mallee socio-ecological system || 0:33:38 Chris Andrew- Fire for food || 0:44:00 Dr Scott Mooney – Fire, humans and climate as drivers of environmental change on Broughton Island, NSW || 0:57:25 Dr Phil Zylstra – To fight future fires, we should stop fighting the forests || 1:21:18 Mark Constantine – Low-intensity fires may be missing from the palaeofire record || 1:21:18 Professor Alan York – Changing fire regimes: the response of litter-dwelling forest invertebrates to altered seasonality and frequency of prescribed fire || 1:38:03 Cool fire – Q+A || 2:00 – 4:00pm Tuesday 4th May 2021


Wednesday 5th of May – Day 2

Session 3 – Chairs: Rob Pallin and Professor Don White || 0:01:38 Robert Quirk – Address || 0:24:25 Professor Phil Gibbons – Opinion vs evidence: What is the relationship between hazard-reduction burning and house losses during bushfires in Australia? || 0:47:23 Nicholas Gellie & Ian Brown – Too hot to handle? A review of fire suppression effectiveness of the 2019-20 bushfires in NSW || 1:05:17 Dr Grahame Douglas – Conservation of natural areas and concepts of design: bushfire under the influence of climate change || 1:20:42 Dr Rebecca Gibson – Fire mapping by machine learning: supporting smart fire management || 1:34:02 Susannah Bilous & Don MacDonald – Next generation Bush Fire Risk Management Plans || 1:48:13 Deb Sparkes – Program logic and performance measures for prescribed burning || 1:55:00 Mark Schuster & Al Hartley – From Northern Sandstone to Southern Sandstone: similarities and differences in fire management || 9:30-11:30 am Wednesday 5th May 2021||

Session 4 – Chairs: Greg Mullins and Bob Conroy || 0:02:42 Associate Professor Owen Price – Learning from the 2019-20 bushfire season || 0:22:45 Dr Jennifer Scott & James Chan – Climate Wise Communities and the application of Ambient Technology (Simtable) to raise awareness about bushfire and other climatic extremes || 0:38:27 Sonja Elwood – Volunteer emergency response for native fauna in the NSW Black Summer fires 2019-20. Where are we now? || 0:53:40 Jane Williamson – Compliance with habitat maintenance fire interval prescriptions in Land Management Zones || 1:01:52 Scott Meier – Before, after, during? Where does the bush regenerator fit into a fire event? || 1:11:45 Professor David Lindenmayer – Fires, forests, and fauna || 1:32:53 Q+A- Warm fire|| 2:00 – 4:00pm Wednesday 5th May 2021||


Thursday 6th May – Day 3

Session 5 – Chairs: Jane Gye and Dr Simon Heemstra || 0:03:16 Professor Lesley Hughes – Our life support system on life support || 0:22:57 Greg Mullins – Climate change-driven bushfires: our new extreme || 0:45:29 Dailan Pugh – Rainforests urgently need their buffers restored || 0:58:18 Dr Judy Lambert – Fire severity: does it affect coastal heathland and restoration? || 1:13:19 Dr Kate Hughes – To reconcile has two meanings || 1:24:59 Harriet Simpson-Southward – Effects of climate change on resilience of fire-prone eucalypt communities || 1:36:47 Tom Le Breton – Fire adapted traits of threatened shrub species in riparian refugia: implications for fire regime management || 1:44:46 Paul Donatiu – The 2019-20 Queensland bushfire season and post-fire plant responses in the Border Ranges (Qld) || 1:51:53 Eli Bendall – Worsening drought and fire may limit regeneration in eucalyptus forests || 9:30 – 11:30am, Thursday 6th May 2021

Session 6 – Chairs: Jim Morrison and Professor Ross Bradstock || 0:03:10 Professor Andrew Bennett – Fire and landscape change: what kinds of knowledge provide insight for fauna conservation || 0:23:38 Evan Quartermain – Safeguarding Australia’s wildlife: lessons from the 2019-20 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires || 0:37:11 Dr Kellie Leigh – The impact of bushfires on koalas living in protected areas and planning for a future under climate change: a case study of koalas in the Greater Blue Mountains || 0:53:21 Pete Knock – Understanding and responding to the impacts of the 2019 fire season on large forest owls in Northern NSW || 1:07:53 Dr Jennifer Taylor – Bats, birds, reptiles and fire severity in Warrumbungle National Park || 1:21:04 Jamie Bertram and Nathan Brennan – Gumbaynggirr Darruyay Dunggirr Jagun Mangga-Bayilaygam “Gumbaynggirr Good Koala Country Plan”: managing our country for koalas || 1:33:43 Peter Leeson – Using hot fire to restore exotic pine plantation to native vegetation || 1:46:28 Dr Tein McDonald – Harnessing the power of fire for restoration gains – learning from the efforts of multiple emergency responders || 2:02:33 Panel Discussion – Cool, Warm, Hot: answering your burning questions || 2:36:40 Chris Gambian – Conference close || 2:00 – 4:30 pm, Thursday 6th May 2021


The Nature Conservation Council of NSW’s and NCCs Bushfire Program would like to acknowledge the generous support of all Sponsors including Platinum sponsors: NSW Rural Fire Service, and NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service; and Gold Sponsor Humane Society International for making this event possible

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Please send us an email and we'll reply within three working days. Regards, NCC Fire and Restoration team

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