The paper focuses primarily on the key fundamental aspects and steps that can enhance measures for preventing and controlling wildfires from happening. The mitigation measures are vital to prevent the enormous economic and human losses that wildfires induce on society or country. Australia and the United States, among other countries around the world, have experienced the scourge of wildfires. Such countries have suffered immensely with depletion of resources and inadequate measures to control and prevent the spread to unmanageable levels. The extent to which Australian wildfires have caused havoc in the country calls for proactive measures to ensure the safety of the citizens and protection of properties and resources. These are fundamental aspects for the future generations of the country that must be protected by all necessary means possible. Therefore, the paper proposes a myriad of approaches based on political approaches that can be integral in the prevention and control of wildfires in Australia. Politics act as the center of economic, social, and change factors that drive any action to be adopted and implemented. Therefore, the major approaches to use in controlling wildfire will include political methods, creating a backup power reserve facility and migrating individuals from the high-risk zone.
Political methods serve as the frontline and crucial steps towards implementing essential measures to the prevention and control of the occurrence of wildfires. The enhancement of political approaches in the elimination of wildfires is a fundamental measure for successful achievements. The political measures provide the necessary basis and legislative framework to concentrate the resources of different organizations – professional and non-professional to work together and collaboratively towards countering the potential occurrence of wildfires (Fischer 2). For instances, in the United States, the political leadership through the U.S. Congress established “the FLAME Act of 2009 which requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Interior to submit to Congress a Cohesive Wildfire Management Strategy” (Calkin et al. 2). Furthermore, political approaches provide funding and budgetary measures and policy formulation mechanism in which proactive measures can be employed towards the prevention and control of wildfires in any part of the country.
Political framework provides the necessary good and temperatures to control human social behavior and response to the occurrence of such disasters. The leadership reactiveness makes a profound difference in the quantity of potential damage that can be caused by wildfires and the lack of relevant mitigation measures (Tironi et al. 3). The willingness of the political leaders to recognize a problem and declare a state of emergency is crucial in the initial responses. This impacts to the nation’s determination toward controlling the problem before it escalates to spiraling levels and management of wildfires still at the manageable levels. The impacts toward the quality of the initial responsiveness and steadfast position taken by the political leaders towards the problem (Rollins and Frame 175).
In Australia, the Prime Minister is the lead political figure and head of the government determining policy and decision making towards the control and prevention of the ravaging wildfires – his role has been characterized with laxity. For instance, the government has downplayed climate change as the primary cause of the wildfires despite the country having just completed its hottest year in history. Also, there prevailed continued support of coal mining and liquefied natural gas sites in the affected regions which was being prioritized over the 24 deaths and more than 12 million acres having been burned (Drolet). The 12 million acres is an equivalence of an area larger than Denmark – to illustrate the magnitude of the problem. The deployment of the soldiers and sufficient budgetary allocations to mitigate the problem. Thus, illustrating the profound value of political measures significant in the prevention and control of wildfires.
The approach requires political leaders to allocate and approve budget increments towards continued and extensive monitoring of the occurrence of wildfires. Petersen (2) notes that following years of wildfire occurrences and escalation of magnitude in the recent past calls for sufficient budgetary allocations for mapping of the wildfire incidents. This is critical to enhancing the understanding of the regional risks and disaster expertise preparedness of the relevant institutions and curb the spread of the problem. The capacity to monitor the happening of wildfires puts the relevant organizations on high alert should a subsequent need arise.
The success rate is determined by the potential to support the building of capacity – for instance, training, equipping and designating the standby force that is skilled in wildfires management. The use of data for mapping enables rapid deployment and elimination of the threat before it generates high magnitude levels (Kruger et al. 112). As a country that has witnessed wildfires for years, proactive measures are vital to break the cycle of heavy economic and social losses that the country experiences. The allocation of more resources enhances the capacity of relevant organizations and task force to generate strategies vital to provide successful countermeasures to the problem. Thus, on this approach, mapping enables the standby task force to respond rapidly with sufficient data and understanding of the ground and areas to concentrate more resources, prioritization, and decision-making.
The investment in Himawari-8 and -9 a development of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA’s) Multi-functional Transport Satellites (MTSAT), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite (POES) Series provide sufficient data for the analysis of weather patterns. The Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology and Bureau of National Operations Centre working collaboratively with the Japanese, European, American, and Chinese meteorological satellites enhance the capacity of Australia to access data and analysis for national weather patterns (Willis 93). The operations of the Western Australian Satellite Technology and Application Consortium (WASTAC) centralizes the operations of the Bureau of Meteorology, Murdoch University, Landgate-Satellite Remote Sensing Services, Geoscience Australia, Curtin University of Technology, and CSIRO – Office of Space Science and Applications towards better management of weather patterns in Australia.
The increased investments in operating more weather satellites in Australia are crucial to build the capacity of the existing Bureau of Meteorology. This impacts better predictions based on extensive data analysis. The effective data analysis if crucial to inform decision making in which proactive measures such as the evacuation of the residents in the high-risk areas and relocation of the businesses, among other economic opportunities where possible (O’Neill and Handmer). The satellite data provides a roadmap to a better understanding of the changes in the country. More so, in aspects of human factor resulting in the wildfires – the government can rule out other causes and focus primarily on the particular one. Thus, generate policies and remedies that are informed by data and extensive information on the occurrence of wildfire.
The support and enactment of the necessary legislation to support the use of remotely piloted aircraft (drones) in Australia as a crucial part of the efforts to prevent and control the spread of wildfires. The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) provides Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (Cth) (CASR) as significant legislation to the use of drones (Rollins and Frame, 175). The political approach is essential to provide the necessary requirements and procedures to the use of drones in volatile areas such as wildfire zones. The use of drones can save the enormous country resources in human capital and other resources that are costlier to send into the wildfires.
The use of remote-controlled aircraft enables the government to save more funds and resources that would otherwise be used to repair and treat affected equipment and persons, respectively. The approach enables policymakers to spend money to save money. That is, the funds committed to the investments in setting up special patrol units that use drones do not require additional costs as the use of humans (Boulter et al. 2). As well, drones can venture deep into the volatile points of the wildfires to provide measures to control the problem. More so, drones provide a 24/7-hour coverage of every potential area where the fires can breakout. In turn, it enhanced the preparedness and responses where needs arise. Thus, facilitate rapid responses and avoid the escalation of the fires.
The capacity to grant and allocate budget to relevant research laboratories and institutes such as the Bureau of Meteorology, Murdoch University, and the Curtin University of Technology that focus on weather technology is fundamental. This builds on the critical measures dedicated to finding out how the climate changes interact with the wildfires as well as the human factor in the occurrence of the fires (Holt 60). This is vital to identify, predict, and map high-risk areas in which the government should commit more resources and expertise to prevent and control the spread of the wildfires. The investment in research provides mechanisms for trial and error, which are critical to determining what measures the world the best and in the most effective manner. The measures to which research laboratories and institutes generate are focused on precise control mechanisms and guaranteed success rates.
The use of technology in the laboratory and research institutes such as simulation provides a mechanism to replicate the actual scenario in a virtual world. In turn, the building capacity and experience of different mitigation approaches and measures can be enhanced through the support of the departments (Hand et al. 2). The budgetary support is fundamental to provide the experts with the capacity to acquire the necessary requirements to aid in finding viable solutions to the threat of wildfires. Continued testing and assessments are necessary to ensure that the relevant organizations are adequately trained on various strategies found to be effective. The approach is a fundamental measure that builds government responses.
Local Governments Role
The local governments have a profound role in the prevention and control of wildfires in the respective regions. The incidences of faulty wirings have been cited as some of the major human errors that have contributed to the onset and spread of fire to the wildfire magnitude. The local governments should invest massively in providing the critical services and maintenance of installations such as electric wires, buildings stability, and safety measures in different areas. The local governments have a profound role in mitigating the human factor as a major cause of wildfires. The availability of the necessary measures that aid the community in responding to the wildfires is critical. Thus, the local government should have the statistical data analysis of the distribution of population across the affected regions and the settlement areas.
Community and Related Public Welfare Organizations Sharing Knowledge on Wildfire Prevention
The community provides the first line of the measures against the prevention and control of the wildfires. The involvement of the community and related public welfare organizations is fundamental to the provision of measures on the prevention experience. The experiences create in-depth knowledge and insights on dos and don’ts that prevention and control measures should follow to attain successful resolutions on time (Hills). Following years of wildfires outbreak, the relevant public welfare organizations at the community level have been involved in the control of the wildfires from time to time. This indicates a pool of expertise and capacity that has been developed over the years. The communities that have specialized training in wildfires control and prevention measures are rich in knowledge. Thus, offer resounding suggestions to the steps to following ascertaining the wildfires do not last long to overwhelm the government and the local communities.
The tendency in which political leaders influence the communities to come together is fundamental to quick resolutions and successful gains being made. The leaders’ mandate is to mobilize the community to fight for what is theirs and contribute to the government’s efforts. The community and public welfare groups complement the government’s efforts (Willis 93). The vast numbers of the community measures are necessary to provide services such as transporting affected persons, saving of properties, and prioritizing on areas to commit more energies. This leads to resolution that enable the government to minimize the loses potentially incurred due to the wildfire’s occurrences. Therefore, the community and public welfare groups at the groups play a crucial role in complementing the government’s efforts.
Encourage People Living in High-Risk Areas to Migrate to Minimize the Human and Economic Losses in the Occurrence of Wildfire
The political leaders both at the national and local levels have a significant role to play in encouraging people in high-risk areas to migrate. The creation of awareness is crucial to inform the public on the potential dangers and how individuals can protect themselves. By encouraging the migration from high-risk areas – it creates room for more aggressive measures that would alternatively be impossible due to the health risks of the population (Holt 60). This helps the government attempt any potential measure that seems viable and can achieve critical results. The migration from the high-risk areas minimizes the human and economic losses ascertaining the continuity of economic activities. Also, the recovery process is faster than having to lose everything from property to human costs. Therefore, future growth and stability of the country’s economy are ascertained.
Furthermore, political methods provide the necessary policies to encourage communities in the high-risk areas to migrate. For example, policies on new settlement areas, protection by the government, supportive start-up capital, development of recreation amenities in new areas – schools, healthcare facilities, among others, and continuity in new regions. The political leaders are crucial to the mobilization of the change of track and resources necessary to make migration successful (Tironi et al. 3). As well, the mechanism in which immigrants are influenced and encouraged to adopt the changes requires political approaches. Thus, the resolve to wildfire problems depends on the political measures to provide alternative settlement areas and employ every arsenal towards the prevention and control of the spread of the fires.