Bushfires Australia

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Bushfires in Australia

***** Location: Australia
***** Season: Summer
***** Category: Humanity / Earth


smoke haze
acrid smoke
"the black"



Australia's weather contributes to bushfires. Bushfires are large, out of control fires that occur in Australia's bushland. The Australian summer is characterised by low humidity, high winds and low rainfall. Sunshine and high temperatures make trees and grass very dry and very easy to burn. Most Australian native plants burn quickly and easily. Eucalyptus trees have a lot of oil occurring naturally in them, which makes them especially dangerous in a bushfire.

There have been many severe bushfires in Australia's history. These fires have resulted in the loss of many lives and millions of dollars in property damage. In 1967, a huge fire burnt over 250,000 hectares of land in southern Tasmania in five hours, reaching as far as the outskirts of Hobart. In February 1983, around 180 bushfires were burning in Victoria and South Australia. In total, the fires burnt out over one million hectares and resulted in the death of 76 people. This devastating series of fires came to be known as 'Ash Wednesday'. In 2003, bushfires swept through the outer suburbs of Canberra, Australia's capital, killing 4 people and injuring many others, destroying more than 500 houses and forcing whole suburbs to be evacuated.

Living with bushfire is part of the Australian way of life.
Most Australian states and territories have a volunteer country fire service, for example, the Victorian Country Fire Authority, the South Australian Country Fire Service and the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. These are important volunteer organisations that help to fight alongside professional fire fighters when bushfires strike. Many Australians give up their time to learn how to fight bushfires so that they are ready when the fires occur. Bushfire prevention methods are also taught to everyone in Australia from a very young age.

WKD : Australian Seasons

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Worldwide use

Fire (kaji) homes burning

Things found on the way


Bushfires, hell on earth

A number of bushfires are raging on the outskirts of Perth. On the weekend 16 houses in the township of Dwellingup, about 70 kilometres to the south, were burnt to the ground. Their owners are now homeless.
In the township of Toodyay, 85 kilometres north-east of Perth, a young school teacher was killed when her vehicle crashed as she tried to escape the flames that threatened to engulf her house. It is not known whether the 26 year old died from injuries she sustained when she was
thrown from the car, or whether she was killed by the fire.

in this hell
on earth, nothing left . . .
but memories

-- Richard Kay, Australia, 6 February, 2007


Haiku by Lorin Ford

bushfire moon . . .
the calligraphy
of charred trees

 © Lorin Ford / simplyhaiku 2006
Victoria (Australia)

red moon -
the calligraphy
of charred trees

Simply Haiku' vol. 4 no.1, Spring 2006

smoke haze
the pin-oak's shadow
stays inside

the raven pair
dull and silent, too…
this world of smoke

into the black—
the drift
of a currawong feather

'paper wasp', vol.15, no. 2,Autumn 2009

(going 'into the black' means going into the area that has recently been devastated by fire)

Black Saturday 2009

along the road
ahead of the fire front
. . . wallaby

town in ashes
a fire fighter
wipes his eyes

the neighbours
they never knew . . .
community refuge

ashes to ashes . . .
a pall of smoke
covers the sun

relief centre
a child dances by
in an orange dress

ash zone
the utter absence
of birdsong

nothing left
of summer grasses . . .
the black paddock

published in Presence #38, 2009

Lorin Ford © 2009

The Black Saturday bushfires
were a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday 7 February 2009 during extreme bushfire-weather conditions, resulting in Australia's highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. 173 people died as a result of the fires and 414 were injured.
As many as 400 individual fires were recorded on 7 February. Following the events of the 7th of February 2009, that date has since been referred to as Black Saturday.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


bushfire ash
the naked shapes
of rock

© quendryth young
WOLLUMBIN workshop 4-2007


morning sun
the smell of bushfires
in the wind 

- Shared by Bee Jay -
Joys of Japan, 2014, February 10

Related words

***** Fire (kaji) wildfire, bushfire worldwide

***** Australian Saijiki


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