social impacts of a bushfire?

im doing an assignment and cannot find anything on it, can you please help cheers

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Hi, Craigros!

    I typed "The Social Impacts of the Bushfires" into Google, clicked on the Australia only section and found this local stuff below which is all about the 2003 and recent 2007 bushfires in Victoria, Australia.

    Bushfires extract high social cost

    September 1, 2003.

    The loss of income and production caused by last summer's bushfires was an estimated $121 million to the economies of the Alpine, East Gippsland, Indigo and Towong shires, RMIT reported yesterday.

    The independent RMIT Centre for Rural and Regional Development report on the socio-economic impacts of the fire on Victoria's far north-east and east was commissioned by Timber Towns Victoria.

    The main social effects of the fires, RMIT reported, were psycho-social stress, disrupted families, adverse impacts on people's physical health and wellbeing and a fracturing of social links.

    "Families have suffered financially as a result of job losses and damage to local businesses. There is a need for ongoing financial counselling," they reported.

    .... and the 2007 one -

    The Social Impacts of the Bushfires

    The psychosocial effects of the fires varied within each region depending on the

    locations and proximity to the fires.

    The lengthy time that communities in the vicinity of the fires had to stay alert, to prepare

    for possible fires, and be ready to protect their properties from the fires (up to 20 nights)

    was a marked drain on the physical, social and psychological health of people in those


    Residents’ health was harmed by, or certainly at risk from, the smoke and haze

    produced by the fires. Certainly, respiratory conditions were exacerbated by these

    conditions. Moreover, individuals involved in fire fighting activities had to cope with the

    prospect of their homes being threatened, and in some cases, burned by the fires during

    their absence.

    There was considerable disruption to family life and social links. Children were often sent

    away during the duration of the fires while their parents protected their homes and/or

    fought the fires.

    Local communities and families felt isolated and sometimes assistance was regarded by

    locals as inappropriate. For example, they were provided with cheques rather than cash

    by government authorities. Road access closures, loss of schooling, mobile library and

    other community services, and broken communication/telephone lines exacerbated the

    feelings of isolation within local communities in the region, especially in areas directly

    impacted by the fires, but to varying degrees by communities threatened by or involved

    in fighting the fires.

    Families also suffered financially because of their involvement in fighting the fires. Many

    people lost income, not just for the duration of the fires, but also in the weeks following.

    While the threat of the fires in many ways had the effect of marshalling the resources of

    communities, the fires also had the effect of creating divisions within communities where

    it was perceived that some families/properties were given priority service by fire crews.

    Similarly some businesses were perceived by some to be treated more favorably by fire

    fighters seeking sustenance and short term accommodation (local business operator).

    Socio-Economic Impact of Bushfires in Rural Communities and Local Government in Gippsland & North East Victoria

    6 RMIT – Centre for Rural and Regional Development

    Timber Towns Victoria (July 2003)

    People also experienced disruption to their family lives and social links – with some local

    CFA volunteers having been involved in fighting fires in the State since November 2002.

    Children were often separated from their parents for the duration of the fires, partly

    because they were evacuated to relatives in safer locations.

    People celebrated the way their communities worked together. There is a strong sense

    of voluntarism associated with the CFA, Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance in rural

    communities, and this was crucial to enabling communities to mount an immediate

    response to the threat posed by the fires as they broke out.

    In the medium term, the fires have heightened divisions between rural volunteers and

    City professionals, although this does not seem to have dented people’s commitment to

    the principles of voluntarism.

    Similarly, the fires brought out a perceived antipathy towards green politics and

    conservationism, even though these sorts of policies have the potential to help secure a

    sustainable future for regional agriculture and tourism.

    People’s personal financial security has been threatened because fire-fighters

    sometimes lost their second jobs when they did not attend their workplace, and because

    farmers and other business operators lost income and incurred expenses as a result of

    their absence from their workplaces. As well, some farms have sustained damage that

    has rendered them largely unviable in their current state.

    Non-government industry and tourism associations have played a significant role in

    surveying their members about the impact which the fires have had on their businesses

    and advocating to governments for recovery assistance.

    The media has had a negative impact on communities, in the short term, by heightening

    people’s sense of panic as a result of sensationalist reporting of the fires. On the other

    hand, people acknowledged that media outlets (press and electronic) had provided

    assistance (sometimes free of charge) to help promote their regions as attractive

    destinations for tourism and investment since the fires – notwithstanding that some

    communities feel that their areas have received insufficient coverage (eg Central

    Gippsland which was not directly burned).

    The fires have revealed how Shire Councils assist rural communities to respond to and

    recover from calamities such as bushfires. In the immediate term, local governments


    Source(s): Jim in Melbourne.
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