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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…
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…
Starting earlier, lasting longer: the challenge of managing the New South Wales bushfire season is getting harder. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Bushfire season in New South Wales grows longer and stronger

In New South Wales in 2013, bushfires in January and October collectively burned 768,000 hectares of bushland and destroyed 279 homes. Tragically, two people lost their lives and the damage was estimated…
Annual show: each spring, thousands of people make the road trip north from Perth to see the wildflowers. Supplied

Drought and fire threaten WA’s famous spring wildflowers

Spring has sprung. This time of year is peak wildflower season in the area around Perth, and the display is a major tourism draw card. People flock to places like Lesueur National Park and the Eneabba…
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…
Back burning against a bushfire in New South Wales, January 2013. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Explainer: back burning and fuel reduction

The recent surge of bushfire disasters has introduced fire-fighting tactics to everyday language. Two important approaches that use fire to fight fire are “back burning” and “fuel-reduction burning”. Unfortunately…
We could be in for some warmer weather with an increased risk of drought and bushfires. Flickr/Len Matthews

Are we heading for a worrying Super El Niño?

We have only just moved into May and despite being seven months away from next summer in the southern hemisphere, climate researchers are seeing the beginnings of what could be the most powerful El Niño…
Fiery future: evidence is growing of a link between climate change and extreme events. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Global meteorology report puts yet more heat on climate politics

The new World Meteorological Organization statement on the status of the global climate of 2013 highlights a fact that some still wilfully prefer to ignore – climate change is already making many extreme…
Melbourne beachgoers battle January’s heatwave. They may need to get used to it. AAP Image/David Crosling

Australia’s climate: time to act on rising heatwaves and fires

The State of the Climate 2014 report, released today by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, confirms that Australia is heating up. It has warmed by 0.9C since 1910, with more in store thanks to the…
El Nino could stoke more extreme bushfire weather. James975/Flickr

Should we be preparing for an El Niño in 2014?

Recently speculation has been rife that the end of 2014 will see an El Niño event — the change in Pacific ocean and atmosphere circulation that is known to produce drought, extreme heat, and fire in Australia…
In February last year fires came to within 20 km of Hobart. Flickr/AB Creative Edge Tasmania

Bushfires: what we can learn from Hobart’s near miss

With another week of hot weather in southeast Australia, we’re all on watch for the outbreak of bushfires. Fire warnings and bans are currently out for Tasmania, Victoria, and South Australia, with a potentially…
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…
Fire zone: bushland ablaze in the Perth Hills. AAP

Bushfires: rural residents are the solution, not the problem

The return of heatwaves and bushfires to the news pages has brought fresh warnings that Australians who live in fire-prone zones still don’t fully understand the risk they are running. Deadly fires in…
Biomass smoke can scar and inflame the lungs. thinboyfatter/ Flickr

Bushfire smoke harms the lungs like cigarette smoke

Bushfire smoke can damage the lungs in a similar way to smoking-related emphysema, according to a study from the Woolcock…

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