Australia: Preparing for fire season, and other dangers - opinion

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Land, the, Fairfax Media
Australian bushfire photo by Flickr user fvanrenterghem, http://www.flickr.com/photos/fvanrenterghem/2642318538, CC BY-SA 2.0
Australian bushfire photo by Flickr user fvanrenterghem, http://www.flickr.com/photos/fvanrenterghem/2642318538, CC BY-SA 2.0

Being prepared for a bushfire is not just a summer job – communities in bushfire-prone areas, and in the ever-expanding urban/rural interface surrounding our cities and major towns, need to prepare 12 months of the year, writes Dr Richard Thornton, chief executive of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and former research director of the Bushfire CRC, for The Land.

Thornton says that over the next few months, somewhere across Australia, we may also get floods, cyclones, storms, and perhaps an earthquake, and we will then, no doubt, be having much the same discussion as we are today over the fires. He asks, Was this expected? Could it have been prevented? How do we make our communities safer? How much will this cost? How can we better spend our budgets for disaster response, mitigation, resilience and recovery?

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