“We’ve always had wildfires in New Zealand but increasingly those fires are becoming larger and involving more people and property and the fuel types are changing,” FENZ wildfire scientist Grant Pearce said.
Since 2017, wildfires in New Zealand have cost the country more than $82 million – predicting the fire’s path could be priceless.
“We’re hoping that these coupled models could give us the tools to build scenarios so when wildfires do happen we do not have to lose a lot of property and no life,” Katurji said.
It could also change where we build and how.
“How do we change the landscape? Maybe we need to thin the forest,” he suggested.
The threat of wildfires is now so critical, Crown research institute SCION and Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) are a part of the research.
“Research is a key component to improving the way we do things understanding how the environ is changing. Understanding how fires are going to burn under climate change and under more extreme conditions,” Pearce explained.
And potentially reduce the devastation they can cause.