Skip to main content
placeholder image

After ‘Black Saturday’: Adapting to Bushfires in a Changing Climate

Chapter


Abstract


  • On Saturday, 7 February 2009, 173 people lost their lives and 2,133 houses were

    destroyed by bushfires in the Australian State of Victoria (Figure 8.1; Teague et al.,

    2010). Fires burned under the most severe fire weather conditions experienced for

    more than one hundred years, with a record high maximum temperature of 46.4 °C

    in Melbourne, record low relative humidity and strong winds throughout the State

    (Karoly, 2009; National Climate Centre, 2009). The scale of life and property

    loss has raised fundamental questions about bushfire management and community

    safety in Victoria and throughout Australia. These include questions about Australia’s

    ‘prepare, stay and defend or leave early’ policy, the adequacy of warning systems,

    the preparedness and responses of residents, fire authorities and other emergency

    services and the land-use planning system that manages development in high-firerisk

    areas. These and other issues were investigated by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires

    Royal Commission, which handed down sixty-seven recommendations in its final

    report to the Victorian Government in July 2010 (Teague et al., 2010). Although

    the Commission heard evidence of the increased likelihood of extreme fire weather

    conditions because of climate change, none of its recommendations explicitly address

    climate change and its associated risks.

UOW Authors


  •   Whittaker, Joshua
  •   Handmer, John (external author)
  •   Karoly, David (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Whittaker, J., Handmer, J. & Karoly, D. John. (2013). After ‘Black Saturday’: Adapting to Bushfires in a Changing Climate. In S. Boulter, J. Palutikof, D. John. Karoly & D. Guitart (Eds.), Natural Disasters and Adaptation to Climate Change (pp. 75-86). United Kingdom: Cambridge.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781107496316

Book Title


  • Natural Disasters and Adaptation to Climate Change

Start Page


  • 75

End Page


  • 86

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • On Saturday, 7 February 2009, 173 people lost their lives and 2,133 houses were

    destroyed by bushfires in the Australian State of Victoria (Figure 8.1; Teague et al.,

    2010). Fires burned under the most severe fire weather conditions experienced for

    more than one hundred years, with a record high maximum temperature of 46.4 °C

    in Melbourne, record low relative humidity and strong winds throughout the State

    (Karoly, 2009; National Climate Centre, 2009). The scale of life and property

    loss has raised fundamental questions about bushfire management and community

    safety in Victoria and throughout Australia. These include questions about Australia’s

    ‘prepare, stay and defend or leave early’ policy, the adequacy of warning systems,

    the preparedness and responses of residents, fire authorities and other emergency

    services and the land-use planning system that manages development in high-firerisk

    areas. These and other issues were investigated by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires

    Royal Commission, which handed down sixty-seven recommendations in its final

    report to the Victorian Government in July 2010 (Teague et al., 2010). Although

    the Commission heard evidence of the increased likelihood of extreme fire weather

    conditions because of climate change, none of its recommendations explicitly address

    climate change and its associated risks.

UOW Authors


  •   Whittaker, Joshua
  •   Handmer, John (external author)
  •   Karoly, David (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Whittaker, J., Handmer, J. & Karoly, D. John. (2013). After ‘Black Saturday’: Adapting to Bushfires in a Changing Climate. In S. Boulter, J. Palutikof, D. John. Karoly & D. Guitart (Eds.), Natural Disasters and Adaptation to Climate Change (pp. 75-86). United Kingdom: Cambridge.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9781107496316

Book Title


  • Natural Disasters and Adaptation to Climate Change

Start Page


  • 75

End Page


  • 86

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom