The 2019-20 Black Summer has been recorded as the worst ever NSW bushfire season. According to the Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub, 26 lives were lost, 2,448 homes were destroyed, and 3 billion animals were either killed or displaced. Further strain was put on the agricultural community, as farmers dealt with livestock and infrastructure losses on top of a devastating drought. Thousands of outbuildings and hundreds of facilities were also either damaged or destroyed. Even now, a couple of years down the track, the effects are still being felt by these communities.
Bushfires are such a regular occurrence in Australia that the danger is often played down. However, as people move into the Urban Interface, surrounded by beautiful bushland and gullies, they need to understand the potential risk they face each summer.
In this article, we’ve given you the run down about bushfires in Australia, including what you can do to prepare yourself for one:
The Purpose of Bushfires
Bushfires are an integral part of Australia’s environment, responsible for shaping the landscape and causing many native plants to adapt and evolve. Controlled burns are used by the fire authorities during winter to clear the ‘fuel’ that collects under trees and shrubs before it dries out to form a tinder box ready to ignite. It can take just a lightning strike or discarded cigarette for a bushfire to establish, and if not controlled fast it can quickly pose a threat to life and property.
Favourable Bushfire Conditions
There are a variety of factors that create favourable conditions for bushfires to occur. They include the following:
Bark, leaves, sticks and branches left lying around become a fuel source and more fuel means a more intense bushfire. It takes just a few hot days to dry out this fuel to become a potential hazard.
Lack of Moisture
A lack of moisture causes stress in trees causing them to drop leaves and branches to produce an even greater fuel load. The dry fuel will burn quickly, so areas that have not seen an adequate amount of rainfall are at increased risk.
The wind is one of the most important factors that can be the difference between keeping a bushfire contained or causing it to burn out of control. Even the smallest increase in wind can affect the intensity and direction of a bushfire.
Hot and dry weather is a highly favourable condition for supporting the creation and spread of bushfires. Dry storms create lightning that can spark a fire and are associated with strong winds that fan the flames.
Bushfires accelerate uphill because they reach more unburnt fuel in the fire front. On the other hand, bushfires travelling downhill spread slower.
When is Bushfire Season?
Bushfire season is highly dependent on your location. For instance, if you’re in the south half of Australia, bushfire risk is at its highest from October to April. In the north, it’s from June to October. This marks the dry season for each respective area, although local conditions can cause dangerous bushfire activity at any time.
Do You Know How to Prepare for a Bushfire?
For Australians living or staying in bushfire-prone areas, this bushfire preparation checklist is an absolute must-see:
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For more support check out the Aussie Bushfire Survival Guide …
Firefighting Pumps from Aussie Pumps
Don’t wait until there’s smoke in the air. Instead, arm yourself with Aussie fire fighting pumps; world renowned for their durability and high-performance levels. These lightweight, portable pumps are ideal for a variety of different applications, including mop up and fire protection, high pressure water transfer, spray irrigation, boom spraying and more. Offering super high pressure and ease of use, Aussie fire pumps are guaranteed to be your best mate, not just in the event of a bushfire.
To get your hands on one of our top performing fire pumps, locate an Aussie Pumps dealer near you today!