Articles on Fire

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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.
Reading about the beauty and destruction of the bushfire may help us live alongside it. Jason Verwey

Bushfires are burning bright in Australian letters and life

Historically, bushfires have played an important role in Australian literature, adding a touch of exoticism in fiction written for readers back in Europe, while also offering insights into the dangers…
Arson has evolved from a wrongful individual act into an effective means of collective violence. Murtada al Mousawy

Burn after reading: a short history of arson

We’ve been burning things for hundreds of thousands of years. Australian Aboriginals practised fire-stick farming to regenerate the soil and drive out animals for hunting. Yet manmade fires not only enable…
Canary grass is an invasive plant, but new varieties are still being developed for pasture. Stuart Hay

Feed or weed? New pastures are sowing problems for the future

Weeds cost Australian farmers around A$4 billion every year — and they are likely to do a similar amount of damage to the environment. In a new global survey published this week in Proceedings of the National…
Five years on, the bush and people are recovering well from the Black Saturday fires. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Five years on from Black Saturday, most survivors are doing OK

Five years on from the devastating Black Saturday fires that swept through central Victoria in February 2009, research shows that people and communities are largely recovering well. In the first major…
Coalmining poses risks that can’t be managed away. AAP Image/Incident Control Centre Hazelwood

The real disaster, at Hazelwood and elsewhere, is brown coal itself

Fittingly for a report on a huge fire, the findings of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry act as a smokescreen for the bigger issues behind the disaster. Partly because of its narrow terms of reference, the…

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