Australian wildfires 2009 – how can natural and human factors be managed to help prevent future tragedy?

The wildfires in Australia have touched the emotions of the world, but it is important to try to understand what led them to occur, from both a physical perspective and in terms of human behaviour; to help avoid such hazards becoming a disaster again in the future:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/asia_pacific/2009/australia_fires/default.stm

The fires flared up again a few weeks after the original outbreaks:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7905193.stm

Here are some NASA images of the wildfires:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=36979

In May 2009, an inquiry into the causes and handling of the fires was opened. Many people felt that the government had been slow to react:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8007480.stm

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