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Black Saturday Bushfires
Transcript of Black Saturday Bushfires
As many as 400 fires were recorded across Victoria. Seventy-eight communities were affected, 173 lives were lost and 2029 homes were destroyed. On top of this 414 people were injured, and over 5000 affected.
The Victorian bushfires were extremely disastrous, causing high loss of life and property, with approximately $1070 million spent on insurance and rebuilding. People losing loved ones, commmunities and towns wiped out, and thousands of dollars worth of personal belongings gone, the Victorian bushfires of 2009 were devastating.
Burning around 450,000 ha for over a month, the fires destroyed several regional towns and were fought by over 5,000 firefighting personnel.
Black Saturday Bushfires, VIC
The Black Saturday bushfires were a series of bushfires that ignited in Victoria on Saturday, 7 February 2009. The fires occurred during extreme bushfire-weather conditions
This is a map of Victoria on the morning of February 8th, showing the extent the fires grew to and where.
Over 5000 safety personnel and volunteers including; career firefighters from all the government agencies involved, private units, industry brigades, police, and ambulance and other emergency services workers, as well as firefighters who came from interstate and overseas.
State and local governments shared responsibility for preparing for fire and improving people’s safety after the disaster. In late 2009, a new fire hazard system replaced the old one and was subsequently adopted by all Australian states. 2 years later the Victorian State Government spent $1 billion to bury power lines underground to minimize bushfire risks.
Federal- In response, the Australian Government announced a comprehensive Recovery Assistance Package to address the psycho-social, economic, infrastructure, and environmental impacts. Assistance was provided for individuals, families, communities, businesses, primary producers and local governments. The overall financial contribution has included more than $465 million towards the reconstruction and recovery efforts by the Federal Government.
Responses to the Black Saturday bushfires included immediate community response, donations, and international aid efforts.
Individuals- the 2009 Victoria bushfires brought the loss of homes, loved ones, personal belongings (including cars, jewelry, photos, electronics etc. General individual responses were to clear trees and keep grass short.
Communities- with 78 communities being affected including communal buildings (council, police, firestations, courthouse etc), help came from all over the world in the form of volunteers and donations. New fire safety plans were made for future, ie including building in clearings.
Economic, environmental, and social impacts
Victoria and the southern Australia region had recently experienced one of their hottest summers on record, with a heatwave over parts of Victoria and South Australia. This was on top of a drought which had lasted a dozen years. This had dried up the vegetation, making it easily ignited and easily spread. The fires took place in mountainous countryside, and fires move much more quickly uphill.
Spot fires also occurred as strong, gusting winds - some hurricane-force - carried blazing embers beyond the fire fronts: these fires quickly fanned into larger fires.