Wildfires: Fire expert urges Australian government to "prepare now for 2021"

Guillermo Rein

Guillermo Rein

Soaring temperatures and severe drought are fuelling a series of megafires across Australia.

Imperial’s Professor Guillermo Rein spoke to Caroline Brogan about what makes wildfires so dangerous, and what can be done to tackle them.

This fire season in Australia is dominated by many megafires, which can be up to 100 times larger than beneficial fires - to the point where they cannot be stopped. They also tend to spread much faster than normal fires.

Professor Rein argues that, because megafires are so difficult to suppress, the Australian government, as well as leaders of other countries vulnerable to wildfires, should begin preparing now for their next fire season.

He explains that creating gaps in vegetation called fire breaks, encouraging ‘good’ forest fires, and challenging misinformation are all crucial factors in preventing wildfires.

Read more about Professor Rein’s work at the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment, and Society , and the Haze Lab. Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or Imperial College London.

Caroline Brogan
Communications and Public Affairs

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