Window On Time

In a few days it will be the 17th anniversary of the bushfires that ravaged Canberra (the national capital of Australia) and its surrounds in 2003.  With bushfires currently burning to the west of the territory, Canberrans are understandably anxious.  It’s old news but some may be interested in this disaster.  In many ways, the Canberra bushfires brought about a much broader call for research and action to better understand and respond to bushfire risk.  Here are the sanitised details of that event —

On 18 January, two fire fronts combined to create a 25 km fire front and wind gusts of up to 65 km per hour propelled the fire towards Canberra. The Chief Minister declared a state of emergency at 2.45 pm and the firestorm hit the outer streets of Duffy at approximately 3 pm, and soon reached [other] suburbs ….  Four people were killed by the fires, more than 435 people were injured and there were 5000 evacuations. Approximately 160,000 hectares were burnt which equated to almost 70 per cent of the ACT’s pasture, forests and nature parks including Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and all government pine forest west of the Murrumbidgee River Stromlo pine plantation.  There were approximately 488 houses destroyed and many more were damaged.Read more