A Bushfire A.B.C

On this day, when New South Wales and Queensland are facing catastrophic fire conditions, these are very wise words from my very wise friend (and talented author) about fire in Australia are a must read.

I am also thinking of EllaD and the GO. Stay safe.

Meeka's Mind

Photo courtesy http://www.wolaver.org/animals/ostrich.htm

I wasn’t going to write a bushfire post this year [2019] because I thought there was no need, not with the devastating fires in NSW and QLD to focus everyone’s thoughts. But I’ve just been on Twitter and seen some of the misconceptions about bushfires.

So…here are some basics:

Fire needs just two things to burn: fuel and oxygen. However the size of that fire depends on many things:

  • Dry fuel – makes a fire burn harder and faster. Fuel is made of up dry grass, leaves, small twigs and fallen branches that build up on the ground over time.
  • Low humidity – i.e. moisture in the air and soil – makes a fire burn harder and faster.
  • Strong winds – provide the oxygen to make a fire burn harder and faster. They also transport embers ahead of the main fire.
  • Embers – land on dry fuel…

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26 thoughts on “A Bushfire A.B.C

  1. Meeks said it…. The Queensland fires are getting closer. We are fortunate in the tropical coastal strip that our vegetation is wetter and our rainfall is normally higher. But still the idiots toss cigarette butts out of car windows or leave broken glass in dry grass. Down in northern NSW, the wind is still tending offshore, keeping the conflagration away from the driest parts of the country. Up here, it’s currently onshore and only 5 knots, but if fire takes hold, it’ll travel, and inland, the windspeed is currently much higher and tending southwards. Bring on all the climate change deniers, and put them on a hose.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One of the (many) scary things about the fires so far this year is that they have been in areas that have not burned before, like rainforest. Victoria used to be one of a handful of most bushfire prone areas in the world. Unfortunately it looks like there are many other places added to that list now.

      Yes, let’s put the climate deniers on the hoses and in the relief centres.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. That meme would be such a good idea. I can’t believe that our leaders are so blind to the climate emergency, that they don’t see that these horrific fires and ongoing drought are not products of their lack of action.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Have to add that the latest thing leaders here are trying to do is outlaw natural gas stoves/burners!!! Restaurants would have to apply for special/priecy permits…forget us who like the value of cooking with gas (and in some places it is also less expensive than electricity).
            The reasoning? Their contribution to greenhouse gases…while all the coal, oil refinery, car emission restrictions have been all but eliminated in the past 3 years…
            Thanks for letting me get that off my chest – it’s all nuts.
            Prayers for you and all your country(wo)men.
            Stay safe.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Emma, according to the Prime Minister and his cabinet, who are all very mealie mouthed on climate change and in thrall to coal, ‘now is not the time to discuss the reasons why this is happening.’ Scientists and former fire chiefs have replied that now is exactly the right time. The ferocity of the fires, combined with a very harsh and prolonged drought, have made many people realise that our climate is changing and that we have to act. It’s our leaders thatare digging in their heels.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I never thought about the native Australian trees being so prone to burning and the crown fires sound terrifying. A very worrying time for everybody in the danger zones and it should also be worrying for everyone concerned about the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As Meeks says in her post, the Australian environment has evolved to need fire as the Aboriginal people used fire as a management tool for tens of thousands of years.However, because of their very real connection to and understanding of the land, the fires they lit were started at the right times, were the right temperatures and well controlled. The exact opposite of the fires we have seen since European settlement.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I so hope people stay safe. It is a very frightening situation. I have been very close to two large bog fires here in Ireland, the last one at Easter was particularly scary. Our communities were helped by so very many volunteers. Without their help our village would have been destroyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Practically, living it is bad enough… but knowing our beautiful forests, conservation areas are destroyed…I know they’ll regrow but so much loss of habitat, and people’s properties… I know they’ll rebuild. But it’s heartbreaking. I hope we can find a better way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heartbreaking indeed. It was devastating to drive through familiar areas after the Black Saturday fires. While things regrow, so much of the ecosystems must be lost in these firestorms. And the trauma to people doesn’t go away. The effects of natural disasters carry on for years.

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      1. We’re going to town this morning for the first time in a fortnight and since the fires went through… I expect it will not be a good experience. Because of the drought and other human practices, there is less ground moisture creating a situation where many rainforest areas which never burned before, did, and are gone forever.

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      1. Thank you. We’re far better off than many. We didn’t have to evacuate, and have suffered no damage or loss… just smoky, a little dusty and tired. We’re back at Advice level, and have unpacked the ute which we packed just in case, an exercise I would be happy to never do again.

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