The convention of taking care not to allude to any activity of a bushfire victim as having contributed to their tragedy is an interesting phenomenon. It seems to apply only to the victims of bushfires.
Victims of road accidents are publicly referred to as 'bloody idiots'. We ask, ‘Were they speeding’? ‘Were they over .05’? When there has been a house fire, we ask, ‘Did they have a smoke alarm?’ When there has been a drowning, we ask, ‘Did they swim outside the flags’? Media and the public expect people to underatand the safety rules.
But with bushfires, the only socially acceptable response is: 'There was nothing anyone could do.' And this is a tragedy.
Until we ask appropriate questions ask of bushfire’s sad events, until we acknowledge that inappropriate actions can lead to death, injury and house loss, we will never improve the public attitude to understanding the rules of bushfire safety.