Special Issue "Bushfire in Tasmania"

A special issue of Fire (ISSN 2571-6255).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Crystal A. Kolden
Guest Editor
Management of Complex Systems Department, School of Engineering, University of California, Merced, 5200 North Lake Rd., Merced, CA 95343, USA
Interests: remote sensing; landscape ecology; socio-ecological and human-environment dimensions of wildfire; fire management; climate change; vulnerability
Dr. Rebecca Harris
Guest Editor
Climate Futures, Discipline of Geography & Spatial Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Interests: Biodiversity assessment (invertebrate and botanical); biogeography; island ecology; invasion and disturbance ecology; thermal biology; species distribution modelling; microclimatology and application of climate model output
Prof. David Bowman
Guest Editor
Professor of Environmental Change Biology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
Interests: fire ecology; pyrogeography; human fire use; landscape ecology; biogeography; wildlife management; fire and soils; vegetation dynamics; flammability; smoke health effects; fire management policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sitting off the southeastern coast of Australia, Tasmania is an island shaped over millennia by fire. It is a biodiversity hotspot, home to multiple endemic taxa and one of the largest temperate wilderness areas in the world, including the UNESCO Tasmanian World Heritage Area. As on mainland Australia, both natural, lightning-ignited bushfires and Aboriginal fire use were key drivers of species evolution and distribution on Tasmania, but contemporary climate change threatens to alter fundamental socioecological processes and relationships with fire.

The 2018–2019 bushfire season was the second-largest on record in Tasmania, with over 205,000 hectares burnt, and followed other recent large bushfire years that have permanently threatened or destroyed relict ecologically and culturally sensitive refuges on the island. This spate of recent fires, including large, destructive bushfires in 2012–2013 and 2015–2016, raises questions about the natural fire regime in Tasmania and how fire activity is being altered by anthropogenic climate change. Formal inquiries at both the state and federal government level have followed in order to address the fire management response during bushfire crises. These types of events and the ensuing response are not unique to Tasmania; rather, Tasmania bushfires are an exemplar for global current and future pyrogeographic shifts, extinctions, and abrupt changes. At the interface of Mediterranean and temperate climates, Tasmania is, to some extent, the canary in the coal mine for fire-induced change.

The goal of this Special Issue is to increase the understanding of the ecological and anthropological underpinnings of bushfire in the state of Tasmania, its sociopolitical, economic, and ecological impacts, its management by the state agencies responsible for it, and the lessons applicable to other fire-prone regions globally. Because of its isolated location and history, Tasmania is an ideal laboratory for testing a variety of research hypotheses related to fire, particularly given the relatively limited management in the expansive wilderness areas. We also welcome studies that assess Tasmania bushfires in the global context or directly compare Tasmania to other regions. We invite submission of articles on any topic related to bushfire in Tasmania, including but not limited to:

  • Case reports documenting observations associated with bushfire events;
  • Meteorological and climatological studies;
  • Social concerns and impacts of bushfire in Tasmania, including smoke impacts, health outcomes, education, mental health and traumatic incident impacts, community recovery and social ties, etc.;
  • Ecological studies of bushfire impacts on flora and fauna, bushfire patterns, vegetation succession and recovery, species of concern;
  • Economic impacts on tourism, forestry, agriculture, Tasmanian government, etc.;
  • Policy responses and implications of the increasing bushfire threat to natural and human systems;
  • Bushfire management in Tasmania;
  • Emission and carbon balance studies;
  • Paleo studies, Aboriginal fire use, historical reconstructions and fire events;
  • Hydrological and geophysical studies of fire effects on watersheds, landslides and other earth movement events, runoff, surface water supply and quality;
  • Remote sensing, geospatial, field data collection, and other methods papers for characterizing Tasmania bushfire;
  • Perspectives or other non-traditional article forms on Tasmanian bushfire

Dr. Crystal A. Kolden
Dr. Rebecca Harris
Prof. David Bowman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fire is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Tasmania
  • Australia
  • Mediterranean
  • Paleoendemic
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tasmanian Fire Service
  • Aboriginal fire
  • Wilderness
  • UNESCO World Heritage Area

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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