Bushfire / Wildfire
A wildfire is a large fire that spreads very quickly through a natural area such as forest or grassland and is difficult to contain. In many parts of the world, particularly Australia and parts of Africa, a bushfire is an uncontrolled fire that burnt through large areas of scrubland. We consider these fires to be natural, often started by a lightning strike, but sometimes they are caused by deliberate arson or human carelessness. The effects of uncontrolled bushfire and wildfire can be devastating, with large areas of land, natural habitat, homes and infrastructure destroyed, human health impacted and lives lost. The amount of smoke that enters the air can cause respiratory problems and reduce air quality.
UN Environment Programme – Megafires and Climate Change – Worsening Bushfires around the world
Megafires are accelerated by high temperatures and drought. By the close of 2019, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Russian Federation and the United States all experienced megafires on what many have called unprecedented scales. The Australian 2019–2020 bushfire season was one of the worst on record. This film considers the connection between megafires and climate change, and calls for action.
Paul Hessburg: Why wildfires have gotten worse – and what we can do about it
Megafires are individual fires that burn more than 100,000 acres. These are the direct result of unintentional, yet massive changes that humans have brought to the forests through a century of misguided management. What steps can we take to avoid further destruction? Forest ecologist Paul Hessburg confronts some tough truths about wildfires and details how we can help restore the natural balance of the landscape.
Aurora project: Bushfire Prediction System
This film outlines the Aurora project, an innovative approach to bushfire prediction. As part of the Digital Regions Initiative it will provide both the public and emergency services in rural, regional and remote Australia instant access to bushfire simulation maps, early warnings of nearby bushfires, testing of bushfire fighting techniques and bushfire prediction tools.
Now explore some written sources.
You might follow some of the links below or identify your own sources to extend your learning and help you to complete your worksheet:
- Bushfires and community safety information
- Preparing for wildfires
- California fires are raging: Get the facts on wildfires
- Wildfires in Siberia
- Ten impacts of the Australian bushfires
- What the Amazon fires mean for wild animals
- From Forest to Field: How fire is transforming the Amazon