Many Australians are unprepared for the worse-than-average bushfire season ahead - even those in high-risk areas.
Every autumn Victoria copes with smoke haze from planned burns that reduce bushfire risk, but a large part of that pollution actually comes from industrial logging activity.
Leaving early is the best response to a bushfire, but it's not always possible. Every house is different, but there are some general guidelines for finding the safest spots to shelter in your home.
You might think having trees around your home is the worst idea during a bushfire, but some plants can actually help repel fire.