16  Suburbia on fire

Human security, climate change and emergency management

Jason Flanagan and John Handmer

Introduction

The observation by the US Department of Homeland Security that wildfires may have more impact than terrorism is no surprise to those working on climatic disasters – whether we think of the devastation resulting from floods on nearly every continent, evacuation of nearly a million people in California and the loss of thousands of homes to wildfire, or the loss of tens of thousands of lives in the European heatwave of 2003. In the wake of the “Black Saturday” fires that swept through the state of Victoria in February 2009, resulting in 173 deaths and the destruction of over 2,000 homes, there have been growing calls in Australia ...

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