Bushfire

Bushfire burns dangerously close to residential property

The Christmas Day fires that struck the Victorian town of Wye River are an example of how to get emergency responses right.

Man in orange coat looking at flame

A bushfire is one of the most terrifying natural phenomena that anyone is likely to experience in Australia. To be caught in a bushfire is to witness a true hell on earth — conditions hot enough to melt metal, heat fluxes that literally vaporise vegetation, and smoke plumes so dense they turn day into night.

A sign with fire danger ratings

The ‘fire behaviour triangle’ – topography, weather and fuel – represents the three key factors that influence how a bushfire behaves. Weaken any one of these and a bushfire becomes more manageable.

Two people in high visibility clothing standing in burnt wreckage

Building bushfire resilience to preserve life and property requires consideration of buildings, individuals, communities and the environment.

Ngadju people and CSIRO are bringing old and new ways of fire management together to help protect one of the most unique woodlands on the planet, Western Australia's Great Western Woodlands.

A small house surrounded and engulfed by flames

Designing houses to withstand bushfire is about balancing not only the bushfire resilience of the house but also the aesthetic qualities and functionality. Researchers have helped develop a new standard with the housing industry for bushfire-proofing steel framed houses.

The latest round of bushfires, which claimed 27 homes in the Adelaide Hills, has once again highlighted the importance of planning for the worst. Mercifully, no human lives were lost, and it will be important to learn whatever lessons we can to avoid future tragedies.