Australia bush fires?

Busht fires are at present raging and sweeping across SE Australia uncontrollably. Villages and towns have to be evacuated and some historic towns such as Kinglake are completely burnt..

However, how can villages and towns be threatened by bush fires? Are they not outside the forest and far away? For example, can New York or Las Vegas be threatened by bush fires? Surely not, isn't it? Don't towns and trees only comprise mainly buildings and roads?

How can the fires be transported RIGHT into the towns?

Should a spark fall unto Broadway, how can it possibly create a huge fire?

Likewise, should a smouldering leaf were to flutter into Brooklyn, how much damage can it caused?

Besides, brick walls should not succumb to fires, should they?

So why must the towns be evacuated? I don't understand.

Update:

Can Melbourne or Sydney ever be threatened by such fires and burnt down?

8 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    yes major cities can be burned down, low possiblity tho

    spitfire heard of that?

    fire spreads via air. yeah, it can spread pretty easily since its australia you guys dont get any rain in the south so dry leaves can catch fiya pretty quick

    new york city or vegas, cant, very low possiblity. (0.005% maybe? lol)

    its cold here and not much dry leaves in new york city here. (central park..umm maybe if it was deliberately lit) and yeah those towns and villages im guessing are in the bush?

    yeahhhhaaaaaww

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Okay well Melbourne and Sydney is surrounded by bushes, trees etc. What's also pretty annoying is not many people live out in the country areas (infact Australia is one of the most urbanized countries in the world).

    Now we all know about the 40+ heat wave that decided to come to Melbourne and draw out all the moisture out of trees, grass etc. And consider the drought. Which means it doesn't take a lot to start a fire. A simple cigarette butt could do the job and light up all this dry stuff (which was what happened from what I heard) and also Australian Gum Trees contain eucalyptus oil which is flammable. During that Saturday it was not only 46 degrees for it was windy which meant blowing embers out to create spot fires was pretty easy, causing more fires.

    Why aren't the town evacuated? Imagine this, all the rural towns have say around... 100-1500 people living there. Everyone gets into their cars, all their belongings and run to suburban Melbourne to stay. IMAGINE THE TRAFFIC. It's pretty hard to believe but everyone evacuating would mean by the time they get halfway, the fires would've already caught up with them, they were traveling at VERY high speeds that even some cars actually melted along with the people in them.

    The reason why New York or Las Vegas isn't prone to bush fires is because they don't live out in bushy areas and the weather wasn't 40 + like the insane Melbourne weather. I know that California sometimes have bush fires due to the eucalyptus oil in their trees. If a leaf was to fly into Brookyln, the fire will be put out before it hits the ground.

    Whoa. I wrote too much...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Bushfires emit a very large amount of ash/brands or small embers which travel up to 2km in the air depending on the wind. These embers can land on any combustible material and start a fire. Secondly bricks and solid constructed homes all contain metals which expand when heated, thus causing the buildings to collapse once hot enough. The purlins/roof./and most other frames are all timber and once alight burn very rapidly. The transfer of heat from one building to another just causes a greater risk and spread of fire. Cars themselves burn rapidly as they are quite often made from plastic or polyurethane materials, then we have the fuels which run them, this also provides a problem with the spread of fire. I hope this helps a little with your thoughts. Any way what the Govt can do now is halve the stimulus package and start rebuilding towns now that will create employment and I can assure you the money will be spend accordingly.

    Source(s): just me
  • 1 decade ago

    The towns being burnt down are built in the bush, there is plenty of trees to spread the fire right throught the town. Not that fires these size need trees to spread.

    If a fire that size got started in the city, then it could easily cause that kind of damage, with the buildings so close together it would spread so easily, however its probably unlikely that a fire that size would get started in the city.

    brick walls will do NOTHING to stop fires like this! How do you think entire multi-story buildings made of cement catch fire? the cement doesn't stop the fire speading from floor to floor.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The towns are nothing like melbourne or sydney, they are surrounded by bushland and huge properties with alot of trees and dry grass due to the drought were experiencing. Everything is so dry and with the current heat wave we just had it just makes perfect growing and spreading conditions for fires.

    Basically the fires are surrounding the towns then eventually ambers and sparks blow onto peoples dry grass lawns and it catches from their and engulfs the houses and just keeps travelling, the wind there is real bad at the moment too so its just blowing sparks everywhere.

    It sucks big time

  • usha
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    at the start look on the distribution of forests in Australia. maximum are close to the coast of Australia, because of the fact the inland is purely too dry to maintain forests (mallee woodlands are greater straightforward inland). maximum folk element contributing to fireside frequency now are human beings. the better the human inhabitants to a wooded area the greater possibly there'll be greater fires interior the forests. consequently maximum of Australia's inhabitants is around the coast ... for that reason severe frequency of fires.

  • 1 decade ago

    Also, these are eucalypt forests. When you have a large fire in a eucalypt forest, the radiant heat vapourises and ignites the eucalyptus oil. Entire trees EXPLODE before the flame front even gets to them.

    It looks a little bit like this:

    http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/5958/fwoosh2vl8.j...

  • 1 decade ago

    It's not just the fire itself that is dangerous but the smoke and what be carried in it and how much of it and how far that would cause alarm.

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