Gardner v The Northern Territory is a rare example of a person suing fire authorities in negligence for their failure to protect his property from bush fire. This article looks at the allegations that were raised and why the Northern Territory Court of Appeal found there was no negligence by the Northern Territory or its fire fighting authorities. The conclusion is that Courts, when dealing with the emergency services and the response to unpredictable phenomena such as fire, are willing to try and understand the realities that decision makers face and take into account the complex context in which those decisions must be made. “…this Court must be careful not to impose unreasonable expectations and unreasonable duties which are based more on hindsight and a lack of appreciation of the practicalities and difficulties that exist … than a realistic assessment of the care which a reasonably prudent person would exercise in these circumstances”. (Gardner, 2004, ) Gardner v The Northern Territory is a rare case indeed as it is an example of a person suing fire authorities in negligence for their failure to protect his property from bush fire. The decision in this case gives a reassuring message for government authorities, fire services, and fire fighters everywhere. The Northern Territory Supreme Court and then the Northern Territory Court of Appeal found that there had been no negligence by the either the Conservation Land Corporation, the Parks and Wildlife Commission or the Bush Fires Council. The High Court of Australia refused to hear a further appeal (Gardner, 2005).