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What are bushfires?

Basically bushfires are the combustion or burning of bush, forest or woodland areas. Bushfires are natural hazard or natural disaster,  common in Australia and also occur in many places around the world where there is plenty of wood, plant leaves or forest that can burn.

Did you know... that bushfires are actually naturally stored solar energy that is out of control? That's because trees convert all that sunlight into oils that get stored in leaves that end up burning like petrol.

Importance of bushfires

Why are bushfires important ?

There are some obvious reasons for knowing about bush fires:

  • Environmentally bushfires can be important to local ecosystems. eg smoke is sometimes needed for seeds to germinate.
  • Bushfire benefits to the environment and recovery
  • Bushfires can have a economic and emotional effect on people and property directly affected.

Having a better understanding of bushfire causes can help you better prepare and perhaps minimise or prevent bushfire damage.

Bushfires can affect the atmosphere by :

  • creating large volumes of smoke and ash.
  • causing localised changes in weather.
  • increasing the amount of carbon dioxide CO2


Pyrocumulonimbus cloud forming as a result of a bushfire below

The environmental protection authority provides current air quality For asthmatics the increased smoke in the air can provoke asthma attacks.

Bushfires are also called wildfires, and the US word may include brushfires or forest fires.

Explore more about bushfires including: