Wildfires: An Australian Perspective

Petra T. Buergelt, Ralph Smith

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In Australia, wildfires are an inevitable part of the ecosystem. The wildfire risk is growing due to climate change and demographic shifts. This chapter outlines the extent and impact of wildfires, sketches historical developments and issues, examines frameworks created by legislations and institutions, and reviews inquiries, research, and education-building capacity and capability. Although Australia has made great progress in building its competence to effectively respond, current arrangements are insufficient for meeting the increasingly "wicked" problems posed by wildfires. Agreeing with Einstein that we cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that created them, Australia recognizes that a new kind of thinking is required to successfully live with wildfire risk. We conclude with suggestions of how to transform the mindsets of citizens and players involved in ways that enable them to solve difficult problems and to effectively manage in a complex and rapidly changing environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWildfire Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
    EditorsJohn Shroder, Douglas Paton
    Place of PublicationNetherlands
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)9780124096011
    ISBN (Print)9780124104341
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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