Community Bushfire Safety

Paperback - February 2008 - AU $49.95

eBook - February 2008 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

The key social, political and human issues related to Australia’s on-going bushfire scenario.

Community Bushfire Safety brings together in one accessible and comprehensive volume the results of the most important community safety research being undertaken within the Australian Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). Using perspectives deriving from social science, economics and law, it complements the extensive literature already existing on bushfires, which ranges from ecology and fire behaviour to information about emergency management. In doing so, the book supports the increasing emphasis on community safety and the vital role it has to play in Australian bushfire management. + Full description

Managing community safety requires a diversity of knowledge and an understanding of the many social processes that shape and ultimately determine a community’s resilience to bushfire. The wide range of issues covered in this volume reflects this diversity, including research into gender and vulnerability; the law and its implications for public/fire agency interactions; the arsonist’s rationale; the influence of the media; the role of economics in bushfire management and decision-making; understanding declines in fire brigade volunteerism; bushfire safety policy and its implementation; the effectiveness of community education and risk reduction schemes; and modes of building ignition.

Community Bushfire Safety is accessible to practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and students. While the research reported has been undertaken in Australia, much of the material is generic and is likely to be relevant and useful to those dealing with community bushfire safety elsewhere in the world.

- Short description


"The book was published before the horrific bushfires in Victoria, during February 2009, but is full of worthwhile and timely information for reflecting, reassessing and restructuring bushfire preparedness and bushfire combat philosophies. Overall, I recommend this book which offers both theoretical and conceptual thinking and empirical, practical findings. It is not an easy read – but the effort pays off."
Bernd Rohrmann, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Vol 16, September 2009

"While this book addresses the reality of communities living with fire-risk, it also raises issues for planners about risk, public versus private responsibility and the poor levels of knowledge and preparedness among landholders that should encourage some introspection..."
Andrew Butt, Australian Planner, 2009

"Community Bushfire Safety is a remarkable book, a rare case of rigorous social science, economics and law combining with the experiential knowledge of highly skilled practitioners, to provide guidance on how to live well with fire in the intensely flammable Australian continent. The book's strengths are its originality, relevance and accessibility, and the importance of the paradigm shift it heralds."
Roesmary Hill, Rural Society Journal, 2008

"As an output of the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), the book presents the research as a very tangible outcome for end-users of the CRC process. Social science research in the field of fire management is a relatively new field and the book highlights the progressive stance Australian researchers are taking."
Trent D. Penman, Austral Ecology, Vol. 34, 2009


Paperback | February 2008 | $ 49.95
ISBN: 9780643094260 | 228 pages | 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

ePDF | February 2008
ISBN: 9780643095618
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


Foreword: a view from Australia
Foreword: a view from North America
Statement by the Bushfire CRC
Author biographies
Interface bushfire community safety
Interface (urban–rural fringe) bushfire community safety
Understanding communities
Community perceptions of bushfire risk
Resilience at the urban interface: the Community Fire Unit approach
The concept of local knowledge in rural Australian fire management
Social contexts of responses to bushfire threat: a case study of the Wangary fire
Assisting the householder and small business operator
Prepare, stay and defend or leave early: evidence for the Australian approach
Property safety: judging structural safety
Don’t get burnt by the law: the legal implications of the ‘prepare, stay and defend or leave early’ policy
Risk prevention and communication
Understanding and preventing bushfire arson
The media and fire services: dealing with conflicting agendas
Preparing for bushfires: the public education challenges facing fire agencies
Policy and institutional issues
Using program theory in evaluating bushfire community safety programs
What should community safety initiatives for bushfire achieve?
The economics of bushfire management
Save that brigade! Recruiting and retaining fire service volunteers to protect your community
The future with a warmer climate
Climate change and community bushfire resilience