Past, Last and Future Summers: How History Can Help Us Live on the Fire Continent

Thomas Griffiths

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The 2019-20 Australian fire season was unprecedented, and a long historical perspective enables us to understand how. In debates about bushfires past and present, it is necessary to appreciate the distinctive history of the Victorian firestorm. The ecological and historical specificity of that phenomenon has often been overlooked by national fire experts and policy analysts. Historians thus have a significant role to play in fire research and management. They also constitute the emergency personnel who, in the aftermath of fire, pay attention to meaning and listen critically and with respect to the voice of experience. Australians need to learn a fine-grained language and practice of fire, such as that developed by Aboriginal Australians over millennia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-244
    JournalVictorian Historical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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