Living with bushfire: what do people expect?

Bushnell, Sally, and Cottrell, Alison (2007) Living with bushfire: what do people expect? In: King, David, and Cottrell, Alison, (eds.) Communities Living With Hazards. Centre for Disaster Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia, pp. 215-253.

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[Extract] The physical and economic impact of bushfires has been well documented, particularly in the United States of America. A National Interagency Fire Centre (NIFC, 2003) report revealed that in 2002, more than 88,450 recorded fires burned 6.9 million acres and 2,381 structures, and the total suppression cost for the federal agencies reached $US1.6 billion. Figures for preceding years are similar, but suggest that these impacts from bushfire are growing in magnitude. Similar bushfire impacts have been recorded in Australia. The Ash Wednesday bushfires of 16 January 1983 are perhaps the most renowned in Australian history, and the following statistics suggest why: in Victoria and South Australia 76 people died; 2,463 houses were destroyed; and 360,000 hectares of land was burned (Ramsay & Rudolph, 2003), total property loss were estimated to be over $A400 million (Willis, 2004). The January 2003 bushfires, in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, rivalled Ash Wednesday in terms of widespread destruction and property loss (Gilbert, 2004), where four lives were lost, over 500 homes destroyed and total damage cost more than $A300 million (Willis, 2004). The 2003 fires were also a harsh reminder of how susceptible Australia is to bushfire. In a global context, Australia is widely regarded as the most fireprone country (Rohrmann, 1999; Gilbert, 2004). Furthermore, the situation may be worsening due to long-term droughts and higher average temperatures (Whittaker & Mercer, 2004).

Item ID: 22047
Item Type: Book Chapter (Non-Commercial)
ISBN: 978-0-86443-752-5
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Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2012 03:43
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl Planning) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960203 Weather @ 50%
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