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Copy of Bushfire Mind Map
Transcript of Copy of Bushfire Mind Map
Bushfires that Affected Australia and the Consequences
Black Thursday Bushfires
The year 1850 in Victoria, Australia had been one of exceptional heat and drought, with trees withered, creeks dry and all waterholes gone. Sheep and cattle, who were unable to stand the scorching heat, perished in huge numbers and sun burnt plains were covered with skeletons of dead animals, flies buzzing around their gleaming white skulls. Leaves on remaining trees cracked in the burning heat. On the 6th of February 1851, the temperatures were burning and the winds like that of an oven, and then the forest went ablaze. Men, women and children were quickly evacuated from their homes, but farm houses, fences, and remaining crops and stocks were burnt by the raging flames.
That year, 5 million hectares of land were burnt, with a total of 12 lives that were lost when they failed to escape the flames. A total of one million sheep and thousands of cattle were lost, and millions of dollars spent on repairing homes and mending lives.
Red Tuesday Bushfires
The Red Tuesday bushfires took place on the 1st of February 1898 in South Gippsland, Victoria; flames raged through the countryside and claimed a total of 12 lives. The fires destroyed over 2,000 buildings, only leaving smouldering ash in its wake. 15,000 people were affected by the Red Tuesday bushfires, with 2,500 of that number left homeless. 260,000 hectares of Southern Gippsland were burnt, with the fires affecting the Cranbourne, Traralgon, Neerim South and Poowong areas.
From February and into early March 1926, forest fires blazed through large areas of Gippsland, damaging farms and burning down homes and forests. There was a total of sixty lives lost, with the fires peaking on the 14th, and 13 deaths were recorded at the town of Warburton. Areas such as Noojee, Kinglake, Erica and the Dandenong Ranges were also affected by the devastating bushfires of 1926. There were also reports of widespread fires that occurred across other eastern states.
Black Friday Bushfires (1939)
On the 13th of January 1939, the Black Friday bushfires in Victoria, Australia was considered as one of the worst natural bushfires in the world. There is an estimate of almost 2,000,000 hectares of land that was burnt by the raging flames, killing 71 people and several towns were entirely destroyed. Over 1,300 homes and 69 sawmills were burnt down to a crisp, and a total of 3,700 building and properties were destroyed. It was estimated that up to three quarters of Victoria was directly or indirectly affect by the Black Friday bushfires of 1939.
The summer of 1938-39 had been hot and dry, concluding in several fires that had broken out. Prior to the days that led to the fires, Melbourne experienced some of its hottest temperate records. On the 8th of January, it was 43.8°C and it was 44.7°C on the 10th of January. On the day of the bushfires, the temperatures reached 45.6°C, which remained the hottest day recorded in Melbourne for the next 70 years.
Black Sunday (1955)
In 1955, a series of bushfires broke out across Southern Australia on 2 January 1955, burning across 160,000 hectares of land. When there were extremely hot temperatures, combined with strong north-westerly winds, a series of fires broke out in the Adelaide Hills, Jamestown, Waterloo, Kingston and Millicent. Most of these fires were cause by sparks from powerlines when they were pulled down by the fierce winds. A total of 60 brigades were sent to deal with the fires, with 1,000 Emergency Fire Service and 2,500 citizens who volunteered. The fires resulted in the death of 2 deaths, along with 40 homes destroyed and other buildings- costing up to four million dollars worth of property damage.
1961 Western Australian Bushfires
During the summer of 1961, a series of bushfires burnt for 41 days across Western Australia. 350,000 hectares of land was destroyed by the devasting fires, along with 160 buildings in the State's south-west. The areas affect by the fires were; Dwellingup, Mavanup, Pemberton, Shannon Rivger and Kudardup. In the end, the fires costed $35 million in lost homes, businesses and livestock.
The fire started early on the evening of the 19th of January, when a chain of thunderstorms swept throughWestern Australia follwing days of hot and humid weather. At around 6pm that day, there were many reports of fires started because of lightening strikes. The following day, after more thunderstorms, nine fires were reported to be burning in the State Forests of Dwellingup. At the same time, fires started in the Glen Forrest, Kalamunda, Greenmount and Mundaring in Sydney. Four days later, tge had burnt down 40,000 hectares of land.
The Chatsbury Bushfire of 1965 was a series of devasting bushfires that went from the 5th through the 14thj of March 1965, raging through the Southern Highlands, New South Wales villages of Tallong and Wingello as well as surround orchards. In total, there were a report of three lives claimed by the bushfires. 28 homes were destroyed in Tallong, while there were 31 homes destroyed in Wingello. The fires evently burnt out near Norwa along the South coast.
On the 7th of February 1967, over 100 were burning across southern Tasmania, which is now known as 'Black Tuesday'. With the combination of forest litter, strong northerly winds up to
1967 Tasmanian Fires ( Black Tuesday)
Black Saturday Bushfires
Ash Wednesday Bushfires
110km per hour and extremely hot air created the perfect conditions for a bushfire to thrive. The bushfires raged across the south-east coast of Tasmania, burning through 264,270 hectares of land in the State's south in only a period of 5 hours. The bushfires claimed 62 lives, along with 1400 homes destroyed and thousands of chicken and sheep killed.
A Royal Commission after the fires found there were 110 fires burning within a 56 km radius of Hobart. The Insurance Council of Australia estimated the 1967 damage at $14 million, with the 2011 estimated normalised cost of $610 million.
Prior to the 16th February 1983, most of Victoria had experienced a drought lasting 10 months or more. The rainfall over winter and spring was very low, and the summer rainfall for Victoria that year, was 75% less than previous years. Due to the low rainfall, there were little moisture in the soil and water supplies in places were almost dry.
The relative humidity (the moisture in the air) was also very low. Dry leaves, twigs and other vegetation provided a fuel for the bushfires, and due to the low humidity in Victoria, the ‘fuel’ for the fires was very dry. Even the forest vegetation in valleys and gullies were dry.
Towards 1982, the fire fighters sensed that there would be bushfires ahead because of the hot and dry weather. This lead to a Total Fire Ban declared on November 24, 1982. Victorian Government fire fighting agencies also employed extra staff and organised for additional equipment and aircraft to be ready for fire fighting over summer.
However, even with the Total Fire Bans across Victoria, this did not stop the bushfires. The first occluded on November 25th, 1982, followed by many other fires on December 3rd and 13th 1983. February 1983 was one of the hottest and driest Februarys on record.
In Victoria, the fires claimed 47 lives while in South Australia it claimed 28 lives- with the grand total of 75 fatalities. This included 14 CFA and 3 CFS volunteer fire-fighters who died across both states that day. There were 2,676 injuries, with more than 300 homes were lost along with a hotel, a service station and 13 historic buildings.
Now, 30 year on, the locals says that the Ah Wednesday fires encouraged the improving of fire fighting for over two decades to prevent less fatalities for forthcoming bushfires.
The Black Saturday bushfires began on February 7th, 2009 in Victoria. The fires were considered as the worst in the nation's history, claiming 173 lives and injuring up to 5,000 people, destroyed 2,029 homes, killing countless animals and burning through 4,500 square kilometres of land (450,000 hectares). The death toll of Black Saturday is almost double of that of Ash Wednesday 1983. The fires affected 78 townships and displaced an estimated 7,562 people. Many of those displaced sought temporary accommodation, much of it donated in the form of spare rooms, caravans, tents, and beds in community relief centres.
Amy To, 8TJ