Fire in the Australian Landscape

Subject EVSC30005 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hrs lectures, 20 hrs tutorials & a 1 day excursion
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours total time commitment
Prerequisites: 25 points of 200 level subjects in any area
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Proficient at using MS-Word and MS-Excel. Some understanding of temperate ecosystems.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview: This subject introduces students to bushfires in Australia. The effects of fuel, weather and climate on the nature and periodicity of bushfires; the history of fire in Australia; the importance of fire to aboriginal culture and life; the effect bushfires have on fauna, flora, soils and hydrology; the importance of bushfire as an ecological process; the social and economic impact of bushfires; the role and impacts planned fire in the landscape; bushfire smoke and greenhouse gas production; design and planning of houses and towns in bushfire-prone environments.
  • To understand how bushfires behave.
  • To understand the factors affecting fire intensity, frequency, size, patchiness and seasonality.
  • To understand the ecological role of bushfires.
  • To understand how we can live in a bushfire environment.
  • To learn what impact climate change might have on bushfires and the environment.
  • Major Assignment (3000-5000 words). Review and discussion of the implications of living in a fire environment (30%, week 10).
  • Written exercises / tutorial tasks. Fortnightly tasks to review course work and extend understanding to the application of the science (20%)
  • End of semester exam (3 hours) (50%)
Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • High level ability to synthesize and critically evaluate information from a range of sources
  • Moderate level ability to organise and evaluate quantitative data
  • High level ability to apply theory to practical problems
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environments Discipline subjects
Landscape Management major
Related Breadth Track(s): Living in Australia's Hazardous Ecosystems
Forests and Fire

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