- Documents and publications
The many-headed beast of wildfire risks in Aotearoa-New Zealand
This paper examines media commentary related to wildfire risk in Aotearoa-New Zealand following two large-scale wildfires that affected urban and rural areas of the country in 2017 and 2019. Surrounding commentary is considered using an established model of disaster risk that highlights the relevance of increased wildfire scale and effects. The model reinforces that increasing numbers of vulnerable dwellings amplify future wildfire threat. The result resembles a ‘multi-headed beast’ of increased risk, one that can be met with a robust set of fire management interventions. Emergency planning frameworks in Aotearoa-New Zealand need to bolster the wildfire risk awareness of landholders as well as local community capacities to manage the potentially elevated levels of overall wildfire risk.