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Landscape fires

Australia is unique in the frequency of its landscape fires such as bushfires and backburning. These contribute significantly to our air pollution by producing carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. 

This research theme seeks to understand how exposure to air pollution from landscape fires affects our health. It has two sub-themes with individual projects under each. 


Improve how we assess and model exposure to landscape fire emissions


Understand how groups of people are affected by landscape fires

See what we've discovered on our publications page

The projects our researchers are leading  


Improve how we assess and model exposure to landscape fire emissions

Exposure assessment

This project will develop new, cutting-edge methods to measure air pollution from all sources including spikes from landscape fires. The methods will integrate fire activity data from satellites, meteorological and air quality data from personal monitors under the AirRater project. The data will then be combined with ambulance data to understand the impacts of landscape fire exposure on health. 

CAR members leading this project:  Fay Johnston, Michael Brauer, Grant Williamson, Martin Cope, Yuming Guo


Understand how groups of people are affected by landscape fires

Hazelwood health outcomes

In 2014, a coal fire in the Latrobe valley, Victoria, extended into the Hazelwood coal mine, exposing nearby residents to smoke emissions for around six weeks. CAR members are leading various studies looking into the long-term health consequences of this fire. The studies are part of the Hazelwood Health Study

CAR members leading this project: Michael Abramson, Yuming Guo, Fay Johnston, Shyamali Dharmage, Graeme Zosky, Martin Cope, Martine Dennekamp, Grant Williamson, Amanda Wheeler

Indonesian forest burns

*Recipient of CAR seed funding for 2018*


Haze from forest burning is acknowledged as a major health problem in Indonesia and throughout the region. This project will examine the effects of extreme haze levels on children’s respiratory health in Indonesia and, in collaboration with local researchers, will estimate the burden of mortality due to haze in Indonesia. This work will build on CAR’s existing collaborations with Indonesian researchers and UNICEF Indonesia.

CAR members leading this project: Farhad Salimi

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