Articles on Bushfire strategy

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The fire season is well underway in southern Australia. AAP Image/Carolyn Sainty

How to prepare your home for a bushfire – and when to leave

Australians are still underprepared for bushfires. And with fire seasons getting longer thanks to climate change we need to look at why people are still dying in fires, and what you can do to get prepared.
While firefighters battled widespread fires in New South Wales in October 2013, hundreds of thousands of people turned to social media and smartphone apps for vital updates. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Crisis communication: saving time and lives in disasters through smarter social media

When disaster strikes, more people than ever are turning to social media to find out if they're in danger. But Australian emergency services need to work together more to learn what works to save lives.
Large bushfires occur in the mallee shrublands and woodlands of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Lauren Brown

Percentage targets for planned burning are blunt tools that don’t work

Controlling bushfire risk by burning a set percentage of land every year sounds sensible - but a more sophisticated approach is needed to truly safeguard both humans and wildlife in rural areas.
The South Australian bushfires have destroyed many homes including this one in Greenwith in the outer suburbs of Adelaide. AAP Image/David Mariuz

We can build homes to survive bushfires, so why don’t we?

Dozens of homes and outbuildings have been destroyed in bushfires that have ravaged parts of South Australia reminding us again how poorly adapted we are to bushfire prone landscapes. With 15 years experience…
Who gets to survive when fire ravages the food and cover of native animals? Flickr/Alastair Smith

Predators get the advantage when bushfires destroy vegetation

Bushfires are a part of life in Australia, and when they have run their course we pick up where we left off and carry on. But if you happen to be a small animal, surviving the bushfire is only the start…
Forests logged in the past two decades burned more severely the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. AAP Image/Andrew Brownbill

Victoria’s logged landscapes are at increased risk of bushfire

Victoria’s forest management policies need to be urgently reviewed in response to the discovery that logging can contribute to the severity of bushfires in wet forests, like the devastating fires on Black…
Too few Australian bushfire preparedness plans consider people with disabilities. Giant Gingko/Flickr

Bushfire planning leaves behind people with disabilities

When bushfires start, no one should be more worried than people with disabilities. Recent research shows people with disabilities are twice as likely to die or be injured than the general population during…
The aftermath of the bushfires that swept through the Blue Mountains last October. AAP Image/High Alpha

Our deadly bushfire gamble: risk your life or bet your house

News images of traumatised homeowners huddled in front of the ashes of their homes have become increasingly familiar in recent years. But the question has to be asked - why are we so often surprised when…
People living in the bush can’t rely too heavily on controlled burn-offs to protect their home. AAP Image/Channel Ten

Which homes will survive this bushfire season?

After the early onset of the 2013-14 bushfire season, it is worth reviewing which homes are more likely to be left standing when the fires inevitably return. One of the most important factors to note is…
Sydney’s environment evolved with fire. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Sydney fires caused by people and nature

Even without the official tally it looks like the fires that started yesterday in Blue Mountains will be the most costly in terms of property since 1968. But how have they come about? Why is the area vulnerable…
Bushfire modelling predicted the Dunalley fires a day before they happened, but that’s not the whole story. AAP Image/News Limited Pool, Chris Kidd)

Tasmanian bushfires: should we have trusted the models?

This week the Tasmanian government released its inquiry into the January 2013 bushfires that destroyed numerous properties on the Tasmanian Peninsula. A key finding is that modelling predicted fires would…

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