Things you can do to help include:
Do not shelter from radiant heat inside your car, a swimming pool, or a water tank – these do not provide adequate protection from radiant heat or smoke. Before, during, and after a bushfire, it is important that you keep informed about emergencies that may be happening in your area.
Before the fire front arrives:
Bushfires are generally slower-moving, but have a higher heat output. This means they pass in two to five minutes, but they can smoulder for days. Fire in the crown of the tree canopy can move rapidly. Bushfires are an intrinsic part of Australia’s environment.
People usually die without the flames even touching their exposed skin. The real risks of bushfires are dehydration and heatstroke which can lead to unconsciousness and death. If you put your hand near an open flame, an electric heater element, or electric light bulb, you can feel the radiant heat it generates.
Australia’s deadly fires are fuelled by a combination of extreme heat, prolonged drought, and strong winds. The Black Saturday bushfires occured when Victoria was in the grip of a heatwave, with record-breaking temperatures and wind speeds recorded at 100 km per hour.
Fuel reduction is paramount to bushfire minimization. One of Australia’s strategies to reduce the build-up of fuels in forest and grassland areas involves the deliberate burning off of these fuels by various fire and land management agencies.
After a significant bushfire event there is usually disaster assistance funding available for people in bushfire affected areas. In 2020, many small businesses or not-for-profit organisations that suffered direct damage to premises or equipment as a result of the NSW 2019–2020 bushfire event (beginning in August 2019), were eligible for a bushfire recovery grant.
Funding and grants for assistance with bushfire prevention and preparation are periodically available. Government grants are state specific and all relevant information regarding the grants, eligibility and their application process are available on their websites. There are other opportunities for funding such as through philanthropic organisations.