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The black Saturday bushfires
Transcript of The black Saturday bushfires
Effects on the community
The causes of these bushfires are still controversial among many. One thought was that the fire was started by fallen power lines on the day of the fires and another the result of an unsuspecting smoker who dropped there cigarette butt.
However these are not the reasons why these fires were so easily spread and capable of the devastation they caused.
These reasons were:
The weather conditions which were on this particular day some of the worst bushfire hazard conditions.Temperatures reached 46 degrees with winds in excess of 100km per hour.
Leading up to the disastrous conditions was also the 2 months of extremely low rainfall and hot dry weather.
No one could have predicted the intensity or the ferociousness of this fire, burning across 1.1 million acres of land.
This leads to the importance of bushfire preparation and communication, which was clearly not executed thoroughly. Evacuation and fire fighters were too late to the scene. Many lives could have been saved if the situation was handled better.
The extent of the social impacts of the fires was mainly due to the death of so many people. 173 people died and 414 injured as a direct result of the fires, with 7,682 people left homeless. No one was left unaffected, not only did they lose their family members but their homes and legacies.The trauma of what had occurred effected many families for many years to come and children were no exception to the impact on the society.
Saturday,7th of February,2009
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Effects on the economy
On Saturday the 7th of February 2009, a series of bushfires, known as the 'Black Saturday bushfires,'ignited devastation across the Australian state of Victoria. The fires which may have been unintentionally started by an unknown culprit destroyed 2,100 homes and took 173 human lives.Also leaving 414 people injured and 7,562 people without a home.
The intensity of the fire was displayed by the heat expelled from the some 400 fires that started throughout the state, capable of killing a person from 400m away.The energy it produced was estimated to have been equivalent to 1,500 Hiroshama atomic bombs.
The fire also moved quickly on average 12km/h and in most cases 600m in 30 secounds.Spot fires which were started from launched burning embers were starting the fire up to 35km in front of the fire.
The figures of the economic losses resulting from the Black Saturday Bushfires were:
Affecting economic output, 11,800 cattle died and 220 tonnes of trout destroyed
1.2 billion dollars for insurance claims were spent on houses
$76.7 million was spent on rebuilding the infrastructure.e.g. roads,footpaths, public transport,etc.
A total of $269 million was spent on rehabilitating the areas.
90% of forest area destroyed was part of a natural park and the losses of timber used for trade was $600 million.
The final evaluation of all costs and losses after the fires being about $4.4 billion.
This included the loss of tourism in the area which was a major economic loss.
The Black Saturday Bushfires
3,852 fire fighters were put on hold
for the predicted weather conditions and over 5,000 fire fighters were used
to fight the fires.Coming from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
The devastation resulting from these fires resulted in a new procedure and recognition for bushfire preparation. Many people, including the fire fighters did not know the extent of what was happening and many people were consequently effected.
Effects on the environment
The environmental impacts of the fires included the death of over a million native animals and the destruction of there natural habitat. An example of this included the near extinction of the Leadbeater possum, whose few remaining habitats was burnt due to the fires.
Another impact was the 8.6 million tonnes of carbon produced by the intensity of the fires and the result was huge in contributing to global warming.
Much bushland was burnt and many national parks also destroyed by the tragedy of the Black Saturday Fires.
There has been a fire started up in Queensland near the Central Coast, the fire has been spotted early and so not much has been effected of yet.
Actions will involve government intervention, the federal agencies will have been alerted by local authorities and they will assess the situation and notify if required the the state brigades.If needed they will evacuate the area, providing people with a safe place to stay and informing them on all emergency procedures. This includes advising them on what to bring and what not to bring to minimise damage, loss and costs.
Communities and businesses will also be alerted and they will told to take standard emergency procedures for evacuation. Electrical appliances will be turned off and unplugged, to minimise any environmental damage.It is important to take all hand hold belongings and secure confidential valuables and materials.
Individuals will be expected to react calmly and call 000. It is important not to put yourself in danger and to make sure you are in a position to help if needed.
These protocols are taken to minimise social,economic and environmental impacts of the hazard.
http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/ (the University of Western Australia, 2013.)
(the wiki foundation)
http://www.blacksaturdaybushfires.com.au/ (updated 2014)
(the parliament of Victoria,2009)