Australian Bushfires are generally referred to as the nonstructural and uncontrolled burning of scrub, grass and forested areas. The nature of the bushfires varies due to different local topography. These fires spread very quickly due to fuel loads that facilitate the fires within the regions. Most property and life have been damaged around the edges of the cities since homes are surrounded by highly flammable vegetation. The varied fire causes have reflected varying weather patterns. Bushfires have been associated with loss of homes, life, animals, properties, potentially leaving people homeless, traumatized, and without access to telecommunications and electricity.
Australia is not new to the bushfires that burn between three and ten percent of Australia’s land every year (Bradstock et al., 2014). Over the years, there have been significant and uncontrollable fires that have devastated most parts of the country, destroying homes and taking away lives. In Australia they have been considered as one of the most destructive forces of nature. They have resulted in massive destruction that has led to personal hardship and the loss of life and displacement. Over the years there have been massive bushfires such as the Tasmanian fires that occurred in 1967, the Ash Wednesday that happened in 1983 as well as the New South Wales that took place in 1994. Since 2014 Australia has faced a significant number of Bushfires. For instance, in 2014 and early 2015, there have been 18 bushfire events that were declared by the government as a national disaster. These bushfires have affected many government areas that have led to loss due to millions of dollars damaged.
Bushfires are dangerous for many reasons within Australia, and the weather gets drier and warmer year after year with the frequency at which they occur increasing. Forest fires can rapidly ravage an area leaving the area inhabitable by both animals and human beings. Therefore, it is clear that some species are ending up having to getting into habitats and climates that are not ideal for them. They have also led to some species reaching endangered and extinct as the fires continually ruin their habitats and kill thousands of them (Cary et al., 2012). This has led to an imbalance in the natural order, which can have devastating effects. Nature brings about a balance to keep each species, and natural order both to the animal and plant is essential in maintaining the order. Thus, when the breakdown of the system due to forest fire, the imbalance can have adverse long-term effects.
Bushfire threats have been linked to very hot temperatures and windy conditions. These factors are influenced by climate and are the primary control of bushfires. Australia is known to be one of the hottest and driest continents which contributes to drought as well as many regular effects of bushfires (Bradstock et al., 2014) The Australian climate has been prone to bushfires since it is hot. Climate change has been a significant impact on the Australian fire season, which has extended beyond summer for the last few years in most of the regions. Considerably, a fire needs to be ignited and needs something to burn, as well as it needs conditions that are vulnerable to its spread. Climate change can impact all these factors in both complex and straightforward ways. Longer fire seasons will lower the opportunities for controlling the fires as well as increase the pressure for firefighting resources (Cary et al., 2012). It is clear that the climate changes and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels leading to these changes have had an impact on the fuel and thus the bushfires.
Bushfires have accounted for more than eight hundred deaths over the years. Bush fires have been associated with unquantified costs that include trauma, social disruption, impacts on health as well as the ecosystem service. Bush fires have been associated with high economic effects due to the high cost of managing bushfires and suppression. The recovery cost for bushfires can be substantial.
The bushfires are frequent and intrinsic in Australia’s environment, with the main factors increasing the potential impact to the areas. The main factors include ignition, weather, fuel, and people. Ideally, the primary factors that determine whether bushfires will occur include oxygen, the presence of fuel, and the sources of ignition. The fire speed and intensity will depend on fuel load, ambient temperature, wind speed, fuel moisture as well as slope angle. Fuel load entails the amount of leaf litter from eucalyptus trees, fallen bark, as well as small branches accumulated in the landscape (Attiwill and Adams, 2011). Considerably, higher fuel load, will intense the fuel. For instance, in Australia, the natural trees are eucalyptus, which burns quickly due to the fuel load, which promotes combustion.
Fires can be started by people either accidentally or deliberately. The primary ignition source for bushfires in Australia is humans. Lightning plays a significant role in most of the fires in most of the regions. The weather has a very substantial impact on bushfires and is directly influenced by climate change. Considerably, after the fire has been ignited, there are very hot days with high winds and low humidity (Trenberth et al. 2014). Many fires have resulted from accidental or deliberate ignition since these fires readily occur inaccessible areas that are rapidly controlled. Some of the human activities that have resulted in bushfires in Australia include accidental ignition from welding and grinding operations, cigarettes, arson as well as sparks from machinery.
The wind has acted as a significant cause of the fire by blowing the flames into the dry vegetation and flesh trees, leading to ignition and offering a continuous spread of fire. The influence of climate change on extreme weathers as well as the increasing heatwave and hot days, is driving increased fire danger. High oil content in Australia makes the dominant trees such as eucalyptus highly flammable. The amount, type, and moisture level of fuel available are crucial to the determinants of fuel extent, behavior, and intensity.
The spread of most bushfires has resulted from the fuels which include anything from fallen litter, the trees as well as dry grass (Flannigan et al., 2013). For instance, the variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may facilitate fuel loads. These changes may drive an impact on the fuels and thus increasing the bushfires in Australia. Relatively, the emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activities mainly from burning oil, coal, and gas are the leading cause of climate change. The concentration of greenhouse gases has continued to increase, thus resulting in high global temperatures. Climate changes have played a significant role in making Australian wildfires more frequent and extensive due to its effects on fire weather and dryness.
In conclusion, bushfires have been on the Australian continent over the years and have had a significant impact on shaping and destroying much of the land. Australia has been struggling to fight the bushfires with the regular occurrence and spread, contributing significantly to molding the nature of the continent. Overall, the environmental, social, and economic costs of increased bushfires are immense in Australia. The impacts and climate changes have presented a challenge to the management of fires by the emergency services, requiring more significant input of resources in terms of personnel and equipment.