What effects do bushfires have on people, property and the environment?

Focus statement

Students evaluate their understanding of the economic, environmental and social effects of bushfires.

Key message

Bushfires inflict serious personal, environmental and community damage and suffering, but we can do a lot to minimise these effects.


For year 4, give each student a copy of the following extracts from witness statements given from at the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. Read the statements with the class:

Paragraphs 53-68, Robin Mcdonald (Rosewhite)
Paragraphs 98-106, Andrew Berry (Kinglake)

Review additional statements from people in different parts of Victoria on the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission website which you might wish to add to your students’ resources.

Year 5/6 students can work in small groups. They should nominate readers and note takers before they read the witness statements from the Victoria Bushfires Royal Commission and interviews and then watch the following video clips:

The Bushfires in our history table provides information on the various effects of bushfire in Victoria.

In small groups, students can create a catalogue of economic, environmental and social effects they identify. They should develop a master list that groups the effects into different categories. The groups will report to the whole class, which will then prioritise the effects that need to be reduced and make suggestions about how to do this.