Fire is, and for eons has been, an integral part of the Australian landscape. Indeed, native flora and fauna have adapted, and evolved (as are some still today) to survive or thrive in fire prone environments.
Curiously, in spite of several hundred years of experience with fires since European settlement, people today seem to be little better at surviving bushfires.
Why is it that we do do not seem to learn from the past and why are people still dying in bushfires?
Dr Danielle Clode is well placed to research these puzzling questions. She lives on a bush block in a fire prone region and is a psychologist and zoologist with an enduring interest in the role of fire in the evolution and maintenance of the Australian bush; and she has been involved in research examining community safety for the Country Fire Authority during the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires.
A Future in Flames is the latest in her series on Australian natural history. It was released in February 2010 and is published by Melbourne University Press.