Lightning strikes are responsible for hundreds of bushfires in Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area but they are not becoming more frequent.
Rather, the land which the lightning is striking has become much drier, due to the effects of climate change, Climate Futures director Bec Harris has told a roundtable for local governmnent.
The online roundtable was held on Thursday and aimed to help educate and equip local government representatives on how they can help mitigate extreme weather conditions and climate change.
Dr Harris, who is also a senior lecturer at the University of Tasmania, said it was a common belief that the lightning strikes which triggered bush fires were becoming more common but her research had shown they weren't.
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"What we are seeing is that the land is much drier, and in places where it wouldn't traditionally burn, such as rainforests," she said.
Dr Harris said her research was done in partnership with bodies such as the Tasmania Fire Service, State Emergency Service and the Department of Primary Industries and Water to help educate and equip people on the changing nature of extreme weather.
She said there was no better time to talk about climate change but we needed to stop debate and act immediately.
"The time to talk about climate change was probably several decades ago," she said.
"Even if we cut emissions tomorrow, we would still be experiencing the effects for 30-40 years."
About 45 people attended the online roundtable, which heard from a panel of experts from researchers like Dr Harris to former fire chief Mike Brown, who is now involved in the Climate Council.
Mr Brown said local government had an important role to play in the mitigation of extreme weather events such bushfires and floods.
"Local government, more than any other government level, have a role to play. They are closer to the people and they understand their communities better than anyone else," Mr Brown said.
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"Probably, local government is in the best position to influence the people in their communities about emergency management."
Mr Brown said whether or not you believed in climate change, it was clear that extreme weather events were becoming more common.
Bushfire season is becoming longer and more intense and traditional methods of combating it, such as fuel reduction, was no longer enough to contain some fires.
Mr Brown said while fuel reduction had an important role to play, there were other actions and decisions local government representatives could take to assist in reducing the impact of these weather events on their communities.
He said even ensuring emergency management played a role in development and planning decisions could help in the future.