25 Sep '11, 1pm

Dot Earth Blog: Lessons for Fire-Stricken Texas from Down Under

The figure [above, from this paper ; a followup paper is here ] shows the history of house losses in Australia since 1925, the first big event loss of last century. The time series has been normalized to current day exposure in order to suggest the likely losses if all events had taken place during the 2008/2009 fire season; in other words, as if each historical fire had impacted upon today’s distribution of houses and population. The vertical axis shows House Equivalents, which is an attempt to capture all property losses — residential, commercial and industrial buildings –- but in the case of bushfire (your wildfire) you can simply take this metric as being approximately equal to the number of residential homes destroyed. That the figure shows no long-term trend is interesting for a number of reasons, especially as we have had professional fire services for less than hal...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/lessons-for-...

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