Even if the proper infrastructure is implemented, it's hard to say what course of action could possibly extinguish a fast-moving rural bushfire within an hour.
We escaped through blackened landscapes where sheep wandered paddocks with the wool burnt off their backs. My three-year-old son, sensing the mood, asked why his dad and I were so quiet.
Houses built more than 20 years ago are likely to be more vulnerable to bushfires than newer builds. But there are some simple and inexpensive ways to reduce your risk.
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.