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Bushfires are frequent, heat-related events that occur in many places around the world, but quite frequently in Australia due to its hot, dry climate. Although some endemic flower species have evolved to rely on bushfires for their existence and reproduction, bushfires can be catastrophic and bring with them widespread damage to homes, property, agriculture, as well as loss of life for both humans and animals. Bushfires are intensified during droughts and heatwaves, and scientists have noted that climate change is contributing to more frequent, powerful bushfires.
See the fact file below for more information on the bushfires or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Bushfires worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
QUICK FACTS ABOUT BUSHFIRES
- Bushfires occur during warmer months in the year as a result of the hot, dry Australian climate.
- They are an intrinsic part of the natural ecology of the landscape in Australia, especially in the southern and southeastern parts of the country.
- They have contributed to Australia’s landscape, as the natural ecosystems have evolved with fires.
- Bushfires are common in Australia; they are commonly slow-moving and have a high heat output which means they can last for days.
- Many plants that are endemic to Australia are fire prone and very combustible, such as the eucalyptus plant (pictured to the right) as it has a high oil content.
- The word “bushfire” is derived from the concept of “the bush” which refers to sparsely-inhabited regions.
- In Australia, bushfires are known to be uncontrollable, non-structural fires that occur in grass, scrubland (which is composed of grasses, herbs, and geophytes), bush, or a forested area.
- In 2013, it was noted that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of bushfires in Australia and around the world.
FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO BUSHFIRES
- There are a few different things that can cause bushfires:
- Lightning strikes
- Arcing (the electrical breakdown of gas that produces electrical discharge) that comes from overhead power lines
- Cigarettes that haven’t been put out properly (or matches)
- Sparks from machinery
- Accidental ignition occurring from agricultural and/or welding activities
- A bushfire thrives when the following conditions are met:
- Fuel load
- Refers to the amount of branches, bark, etc that exists in the area; the greater the fuel load, the more intense the fire.
- A moisture deficit is usually an indicator of extreme bushfire conditions, as dry fuel will burn more quickly.
- Wind speed
- Winds drive a fire by blowing flames onto existing fuel, providing a constant supply of oxygen to the fire, and advancing the fire.
- The higher the temperature, the more likely it is that the fire will continue to burn, or that another will start.
- Dry air means plants become more flammable as they release their oils and moisture more easily.
- Slope Angle
- Fire accelerates when it travels uphill; the fire’s speed doubles with every 10 degree increase in slope.
- Ignition Source
- Bushfires can originate from human activity (deliberate or accidental) as well as natural causes (lightning).
CATEGORIES AND MANAGEMENT
- There are generally two accepted categories of bushfires:
- Hilly/mountainous fires: These are bushfires that begin and burn in hilly areas, usually in the mountains or in an alpine area with lots of trees and dense forest, meaning the land is not easily accessible. These lands are usually not used for agriculture, and are instead protected by national and/or state parks, so they pose a threat to life and property.
- Flat/grassland fires: These are bushfires that burn among flat plains or areas covered with grasses or scrubland. These fires can move quickly due to the exposure to wind. They are less of a danger to settlements, are less difficult to maintain, and usually occur in areas where there is a lower amount of fuel available to burn.
- A standardized “Fire Danger Rating” system was put into place in 2009 in Australia to alert communities about the actions they should take.
- The Australasian Fire Authorities Council is responsible for representing fire and land management agencies in the Australasian region, with each Australian state or territory with its own set of services to manage, alert, and report bushfires to its constituents.
- Climate change has been to blame for the increasing intensity and seasonality of large bushfires, predominantly in Australia’s south-east.
- Since 1851, bushfires have accounted for over 800 deaths in Australia, with the most devastating bushfire being the Black Saturday bushfires.
- The total cost of all of these bushfires is estimated at about $1.6 billion.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the bushfires across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Bushfires worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the bushfires which are frequent, heat-related events that occur in many places around the world, but quite frequently in Australia due to its hot, dry climate. Although some endemic flower species have evolved to rely on bushfires for their existence and reproduction, bushfires can be catastrophic and bring with them widespread damage to homes, property, agriculture, as well as loss of life for both humans and animals. Bushfires are intensified during droughts and heatwaves, and scientists have noted that climate change is contributing to more frequent, powerful bushfires.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Plant Response
- Bushfires Crossword
- The Indigenous Australians
- Black Saturday Bushfires
- Picture Analysis
- Words Inside a Word
- Bushfires Wordsearch
- The Fire Danger Rating System
- Opinion Piece
- Bushfire Poem
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Link will appear as Bushfires Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 5, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.