Extract - Bushfire is on the agenda more than ever… internationally. The attention of the public and politicians has been captured by extensive media coverage on big fires in the last 5 years: Portugal, France, California, Colorado, South Africa, Indonesia, the Amazon – and 2001-02 and 2002-03 in SE Australia. The various enquiries that have followed these fire events, at least in Australia (e.g. the NSW Joint Select Committee on Bushfires 2002, the Victorian Government’s Inquiry into the 2002-2003 Victorian Bushfires – Esplin et al. 2003, the House of Representatives Select Committee Inquiry into the Recent Australian Bushfires – Nairn 2003, and the Council of Australian Governments National Inquiry into Bushfire Mitigation and Management – Ellis et al. 2004), have revealed many misconceptions about fire characteristics and about the ecological impacts of bushfires.
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This paper was originally published as: Whelan, RJ, The ecology of fire – Developments since 1995 and outstanding questions, Proceeding of Bushfire 2006 - Life In A Fire-Prone Environment: Translating Science Into Practice conference, Griffith University, Brisbane, 6–9 June 2006.