Permaculture News

Essential Bushfire Safety Tips – 3rd Edition

Australia’s foremost communicator of bushfire safety science joins Melliodora Publishing to make a real difference in times of challenge and change

Bushfire has been a recurring theme in my work over nearly four decades and a central concern for anyone involved in permaculture design, teaching and practice in rural Australia, especially the south east of the continent, which has the dubious title of being the most bushfire prone region in the world.

Over those decades, Joan Webster OAM’s The Complete Bushfire Safety Book was the go-to reference and guide that everyone from local firies to CSIRO experts cited as sound advice.

After the 2009 Black Saturday fires, I had the experience of sharing a platform with Joan in events organised by Kinglake community activist and bushfire survivor Daryl Taylor. That experience confirmed my appreciation of Joan’s sharp intellect and fearless pursuit of new evidence to constantly refine her documentation and communication on the science of bushfire safety.

In 2012 her Essential Bushfire Safety Tips condensed the depth of information in the larger book for a broader audience of suburban Australians increasingly subject to the threat of bushfire.

With the Black Summer of 2020 massively expanding the numbers of Australians feeling the threat of climate change enhanced bushfires, this easy-to-digest guide and checklist is more essential than ever. For millions more on the west coast of North America, the Mediterranean and other regions threatened by wildfire, Essential Bushfire Safety Tips is the best guide Australia can offer.

So when CSIRO Publishing decided not to reprint the Third Edition of Essential Bushfire Safety Tips despite its popularity, Melliodora Publishing jumped at the opportunity to keep this book in print. We had three main reasons:

  • It constitutes “must have” information for an expanding number of Australians, including those residing in suburban and peri-urban landscapes, in a far more authoritative, nuanced and empowering form than the basic government messaging.
  • Joan Webster OAM’s work complements our other publications and supports our belief that permaculture is relevant to a growing audience of people around the world who are inspired to positively face a time of challenge and change.
  • We respect Joan Webster OAM as an experienced Australian elder with vast knowledge and wish to continue to recognise her as the nation’s greatest communicator of bushfire safety science.

For people living in bushfire prone regions around the world, and those seeking to arm themselves with the most up-to-date information on bushfire risk and response, Joan Webster OAM’s book is an invaluable resource in the age of the Pyrocene.


David Holmgren
October 2021


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