Editors of the Port Hills wildfire Special Issue of the Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies have teamed up to extend the discussion on wildfire risks in NZ in a paper in the high profile Australian Journal of Emergency Management.
The team was led by Dr Thomas Huggins, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China and Massey University in collaboration with Lisa Langer from the Scion Rural Fire Research Group; Prof Jim McLennan, La Trobe University, Melbourne; Prof David Johnston, Massey University and Prof Lili Yang, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen.
By examining media commentary related to wildfire risk in New Zealand following the 2017 Port Hills and 2019 Tasman Pigeon Valley wildfires, the team examined an established model of disaster risk that highlights the relevance of increased wildfire scale and effects. The model reinforces the expectation of increased wildfire risk in the rural-urban interface with the increasing number of vulnerable dwellings amplifying future wildfire threat, which will require robust fire management interventions. Emergency planning frameworks are needed to reinforce the wildfire risk awareness of landowners and residents, as well as local community capacities to manage elevated levels of wildfire risk anticipated in the future.
Reference: Huggins, T. J., Langer, E. R., J. McLennan, J., Johnston, D. M., Yang, L. (2020). The many-headed beast of wildfire risks to Aotearoa-New Zealand. Australian Journal of Emergency Management 35(3), July 2020, pp 48-53.