The 2003 Canberra fires inquiry is suppost to wrap up today. It will be interesting to see what recommendations are made to prevent Australia's National capital coming under this type of threat again. Taken 3 years to hear all this and we are still waiting for an outcome. In the mean time I now work in Canberra and joined a vol brigade across the border as I personally did not feel confident in the ACT brigades.
The only thing to come out so far is the almost certain amalgamation of permanent ACT urban brigades with the volunteer rural units. Comments that vols will refuse to perform road accident rescue work are unfounded. I spent a decade as a member of a vol brigade that specialised in road accident rescue and getting on that unit was very competitive due to the small crews used and the need to frequently practice and hone the skills. There was never any problem getting vols to man such an important unit.
By design Canberra is one large urban rural interface. I count the numerous road killed Kangaroos each morning as I drive 6 mile to work. Bush and houses are very closely integrated to make Canberra feel like one large forest park.
The summer fire risk will always by high in this type of city.