Bushfires  

Damage caused by bushfires

Some forests are destroyed and trees are damaged

Wildlife is killed or injured by fire and smoke

Habitat of birds and animals is destroyed

Houses are destroyed

People are killed or injured

Power-lines, bridges and other public property are destroyed

Smoke pollutes the air

What are the main causes of bushfires?

Fires in cars and trucks after road accidents

Careless people who, for example, drop their cigarette butts or let sparks and fire escape from their campfires

Arson: fires deliberately set in the bush by people (these people are known as arsonists)

Lightning strikes set fire to grass and trees

Burning-off fires that get out of control

How can the effects of bushfires be reduced?

The safe burning of parts of the forests by workers who keep the fire under control is known as fuel reduction. This means that when a bushfire starts there will be less fuel (wood, trees, grass and so on) to burn. This burning has some good effects too. For example, some plants need smoke to help them reproduce.

Controlled burning allows forest animals to move to unburnt places.

Firefighters must be well trained and have good plans for fighting bushfires.They must have good fire fighting equipment such as trucks fitted with water tanks, hoses and good communication systems.

There must be good roads and tracks through the forests so that firefighters can get to any fire quickly and safely.

What should people do if a bushfire comes?

Block up all doorways and windows so there are no draughts.

Use a hose to spray down the sides of their houses.

Block the downpipes leading from roof spouting with rags or tennis balls and fill the spouting gutters with water.

Connect a sprinkler to a garden hose and put it on the roof of the house.

Turn off the power and the gas supply.

Fill up the bath and sinks with water.

 

Fighting bushfires from the air.
Helicopters and light aircraft are used to water bomb the fire.

Did you know?
Robots that one day could be used for fighting bushfires are being developed in Sydney, Australia

To find out how some animals and plants survive a bushfire go to this kidcyber page http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/bushfiresurvival.HTM

Go here for information about one of Australia's worst bushfires: Ash Wednesday, February 1983 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Wednesday_fires

...and a more terrible bushfire occured in Victoria, Australia on the 25 February 2009. 173 people died and hundreds of homes were destroyed. You can read about it at the links from this page http://www.blacksaturdaybushfires.com.au/

Go to these sites for more about bushfires
http://clearlyexplained.com/nature/earth/disasters/bushfires.html

http://library.thinkquest.org/10136/bushfire/bushtq.htm

If you use any part of this, write the source in your bibliography like this:
Thomas, Ron. & Sydenham, Shirley. Bushfires. [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au (2009)

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