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Mia Thomas

on 23 March 2014

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Transcript of BLACK SATURDAY

There were many social impacts of the Black Saturday Bush Fires. 173 people lost their lives (more than double the death toll of Ash Wednesday) and 414 people were injured, both as a result of the fires. The grief of families for loved ones who were lost or injured in the fires, would affect them for the rest of their lives. This along with the stress of rebuilding a home can lead to divorces or mental illness. Over 2,030 houses and 3,500 structure were damaged, and many people grieved over their lost business or home. Irreplaceable objects were also lost to the fire, such as home videos, photo books, letters, wedding bands, awards etc which would have had a huge emotional impact on the owners. The fires also brought the community together, as they all helped each other out and relied on each other to rebuild their towns. Many people from all ovr Australia donated to help Victoria rebuild, which brought us all together as a country.
Black Saturday occurred on Saturday, 7 February 2009. That day had some of the worst bushfire-weather conditions ever recorded, reaching temperatures of 47 degrees Celsius and winds of more than 100km/hour. Approximately 400 fires occurred all across Victoria in Australia that day, killing 173 people, destroying 2,030 homes and 3,500 structures.
The economic impact of the fires was significant. 7,560 people had no homes and therefore had to pay for them to be rebuilt or repaired. Most of the residents in the fire areas also lost objects such as TV's, ovens, radios, computers and clothes, all of which would be very expensive to replace. The total amount of money lost from insurance was $1.2 million. Most produce was burnt which meant as a result many stores lost produce. People also had workplaces or companies that were burnt, which could be extremely expensive to compensate for. Farmers suffered the most extreme economic losses, with 11,800 livestock dead and 62,000 hectares of grazing pasture and 32,000 tonnes of hay and silage burnt and unusable, which could result in loss of more produce, possibly raising unemployment rates. The Victorian Government had to fund a $10 million tourism package to get tourists back to regions affected by the bushfires. The Bushfires Royal Commission released an estimate that the fires cost a total of $4.4 billion in total. The economic losses could take many years to recover from.
Most of the Black Saturday fires were ignited intentionally or by fallen or clashing power lines. Other suspected causes of the fires were:
cigarette butts
power tool sparks.
the blocking of a high pressure system in the Tasman Sea bringing hot, dry strong winds
48 degree heat and dry air
humidity as low as 6%
winds as high as 100km/hour
lack of rainfall
The number of wildlife affected by the fires (killed/injured) was estimated to be well over 1 million. A species of possum, Leadbeater's Possum, was put under extreme threat of extinction after its only habitat was burned in the fires. 90% of the 98,932 hectares of Victorian parks destroyed by the fires were national parks. The bushfires produced a large amount of Carbon dioxide emission creating more pollution, which ruined local water catchments. The use of water for the regrowth of the vegetation could result in less water availability. The fires did not just affect Victoria, as smoke from them was found above Antarctica.
It is 2014 and a bush fire identical to the Black Saturday bushfires is about to take place in Victoria. The consequences of the Black Saturday fires in 2009 were intense and saddening, but the actions taken by the government, the community and individuals will hopefull minimise the impacts of this disaster.
The Government
A further increase of fuel reduction burning to reduce fuel levels in parks and reserves
a more severe maintenance regime for arson operations and electricity businesses
•Boost to community education and information about preparing for bushfires including an introduction in the school curriculum and Community Information Guides for locations in Victoria that are deemed to be in high risk areas
•New fire mapping technology for more accurate community warnings
•bringing in bulldozers to scrape up and turn over the dry land to try making it less flammable
routine burn offs to try and burn all of the dry vegetation so that there is none left for the fire to catch on
After Black Saturday, the government took the following measures:
Community Initiatives
After Black Saturday, the community took the following measures to minimise future impacts:
businesses or community associations hosting programs and creating booklets/pamphlets to supply information of fire risks to residents of Victoria
provide help and resources to soften the impacts of disasters
create Neighbourhood Safer Places, to shelter those in case of fire
The residents of Victoria that were affected by the Black Saturday fires took the following measures to minimise impacts of bushfires:
using and reading through all educational pamphlets that educate and raise awareness of bushfire risks, bushfire behavior, how to protect houses and property, personal safety and bushfire action planning
making sure they know where nearest Neighbourhood Safer Places are
keeping as little fuel and vegetation possible around their home
turning over any soil on property to minimise flamability
always check BOM and CFA TV for fire warnings
volunteer to help out community groups, firefighters and others in the community

"About Black Saturday 2009, CFA - Country Fire Authority." Country Fire Authority. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. <http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/black-saturday/>.
"Black Saturday | Australian Broadcasting Corporation." Black Saturday | Australian Broadcasting Corporation. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. <http://www.abc.net.au/innovation/blacksaturday/#/timeline/sequence/chapter/3>.
"Black Saturday Bushfires." Black Saturday Bushfires. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. <http://www.blacksaturdaybushfires.com.au/>.
"Black Saturday Bushfires." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Saturday_bushfires>.
Sivakumaran, Saaini. "BLACK SATURDAY BUSHFIRES." Prezi.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. <http://prezi.com/vuhhptaqcatf/black-saturday-bushfires/>.
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