Expert Calls for ‘Fire-Line’ to Future-Proof Against Bushfire Disaster


As fires continue to burn across Australia, damage estimates are now in the billions. More than 8.4 million hectares have been burnt, almost 2000 homes have been destroyed, and 26 people have lost their lives.

Such immense devastation means policymakers are under pressure to identify strategies that will future-proof communities before they start rebuilding beyond the 2020 bushfires.

UniSA sustainability expert, Dr Sukhbir Sandhu says Australia should consider the establishment of a ‘fire-line’ – a bushfire demarcation line – to identify high-risk areas not recommended human habitation.

In the same vein as Goyder’s Line of rainfall (created in South Australia 1865 to map areas liable to drought and therefore unsuitable for planting crops), Dr Sandhu says a fire-line would help people clearly recognise areas that are suitable, or not suitable, for living.

“The frequency and intensity of bushfires in Australia have changed dramatically over the past decade – our fire season is longer, the fires are more brutal, and the fallout is extensive,” Dr Sandhu says. “Accordingly, Australia’s responses to the fires must change too.

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