Articles on Fire

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Victorian Governor Linda Dessau places a flower on a model of Victoria at a memorial service for the ten-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires. David Crosling/AAP

What has Australia learned from Black Saturday?

The Black Saturday fires transformed the way Australia responds to bushfires.
The fire in the Melbourne CBD on Monday was a reminder of the urgency of developing a system that guarantees only materials that meet building safety standards are used. Bekah Jane/Twitter

Cladding fires expose gaps in building material safety checks. Here’s a solution

Fortunately, no lives were lost in the latest cladding fire in Melbourne, but it's a stark reminder of the urgent need to track and verify that building materials comply with safety standards.
Storm clouds move over the Illawarra south of Sydney on Wednesday, November 28 2018. Sydney received more than a month’s worth of rain in just two hours, with Observatory Hill recording 84.6mm by 7am. The November average is 83.8mm. Dean Lewins/AAP

Sydney storms could be making the Queensland fires worse

Bushfires across Queensland are fanned by high winds pushed north by a strong low in NSW.
Many California wildfires spread from structure to structure, fed by the winds. Cal Fire

How fierce fall and winter winds help fuel California fires

The dry, hot, downslope Santa Ana winds of Southern California fan late fall wildfires that have largely traveled through – and are fueled by – homes and other structures.
A firefighter in California. Firefighting is getting more and more expensive as fires get more destructive. PETER DASILVA

The bitter lesson of the Californian fires

The California fires are just the most recent in a series of major wildfires. Together, they suggest we need to look at alternative ways of living with fire.
Westy48/Flickr.

Curious Kids: what is fire?

Put simply, it's the outcome of a chemical reaction, which humans learned how to make some 400,000 years ago.
A farmer plows a dry and dusty cotton field near Phoenix, Ariz., while a drought affects the Southwest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

How to fight desertification and drought at home and away

Desertification is a problem of global proportions. If action isn't taken now, it will accelerate and fuel further migration and conflict.
If more people live in the Adelaide Hills, they are more likely to be exposed to bushfires. David Mariuz/AAP

Natural hazard risk: is it just going to get worse or can we do something about it?

What decisions can we make today to reduce the future risk of hazards like floods and fire? Particularly in a time of climate change, modelling various plausible futures helps us plan for uncertainty.

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