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NSW: Climate change links to bushfires probed at conference

19 Jun 2009 5:00 AM
EDS: Embargoed to 0500 AEST Friday, June 19

SYDNEY, June 19 AAP - The impact of climate change will be a major talking point for international firefighting experts in Sydney discussing better ways to battle bushfires.

Those involved in fighting wildfires from as far away as the United States, Europe and Asia will attend the two-day conference starting on Friday.

The conference is organised by the NSW Rural Fire Service, with speakers to include climate change expert Professor Tim Flannery and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority's Roy Bishop.

"Some of the best and brightest in international wildfire management ... will be sharing their expertise and experience at this milestone conference," NSW Emergency Service minister Steve Whan said.

"Given the forecast impact of climate change on fire patterns and the threat of wildfire to so many communities around the globe, this important conference comes at a critical time to help the way we fight wildfires in the future."

Mr Whan said the conference would look at issues such as how to improve technology and research, as well as community safety.

"The conference will include presentations by a range of emergency services personnel, land managers and environmental experts exploring key areas of interest to fire agencies, land managers, educators and government," Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Services Phil Koperberg said.