Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel L. Manzello


  • Owen PriceEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51727-8_151-1



Bushfire has the same meaning as wildfire but is the term used in Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. It is an unplanned fire in a vegetated area (as opposed to an urban area). The word was probably first used in South Africa and may derived from the Dutch word “bosch” meaning uncultivated land. However, in all three countries, the term “bush” now refers to extensive areas of natural vegetation (excluding pure grasslands). In Australia bushfire was first used in the first half of the nineteenth century, for example, in Ludwig Leichardt’s 1847 account of his exploration of the interior. By the latter half of the century, it was in common use. The term passed into legislation in the first half of the twentieth century, first in the Australian Capital Territory (Bushfire Act 1936), Western Australia (A Bush Fires Act 1937), and New South Wales (Bush Fires Act 1949).

Fire Regimes in Australia

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Risk Management of BushfireUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anne Ganteaume
    • 1
  1. 1.RECOVER-EMRIRSTEAAix-en-ProvenceFrance