The bushfire crisis

The bushfire crisis has challenged Australia's acceptance of what is normal in an Aussie summer, how we protect our health and environments, and what we think life will be like in the future.

People die protecting homes. They are wrong to believe their homes will protect them.

Businesses and people affected by the crisis, including emergency support workers, can ask the UNSW Tax Clinic for guidance.

A research team from UNSW Built Environment is using 3D mapping technology to help improve fire safety and crisis response procedures for Fire and Rescue NSW. 

UNSW Canberra extreme bushfire researcher and mathematical scientist, Professor Jason Sharples, has dedicated his career to understanding the complex behaviour of bushfires.

Another troubling consequence of the bushfire smoke is its effects on our eyes. But there are some steps we can take to minimise irritation and any risk of longer-term harm.

Particulates in fire smoke can irritate the lining of the respiratory tract, causing throat irritation, coughing and breathing difficulties.

Air purifiers with a HEPA filter are an expensive option. Plugging ventilation holes in walls helps, but there are also dangers.

Having fewer children is one of the most effective ways an individual can mitigate climate change.

In a matter of weeks, the fires have subverted decades of dedicated conservation efforts for many threatened species.

Large, intense bushfires can pump so much heat into the atmosphere they form their own thunderstorm system. And that can make the weather on the ground even more dangerously unpredictable.

Professor Stuart Khan from UNSW Sydney explains the immediate and long-term effects of bushfires on water quality.

The Dean of UNSW Built Environment says it’s possible to build more fire resistant homes, but designs need to use best practice principles to be resilient.