Australia has a long history of bushfire disasters. The loss of almost 70 homes in Tathra, New South Wales, and 18 homes in southwest Victoria this week has again reminded us of the risks and huge personal costs of living in a fire-prone country. The risk is increasing as fires the world over are expanding in every dimension – in their timing, with extended seasons of favourable fire weather, frequency and severity.
Dr Fay Johnston is a Public Health Physician and epidemiologist who heads the Environmental Health Research Group at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research. She is also a member of Doctors for the Environment Australia.
This article was first published in The Conversation on 22 March 2018.