Australia is being ravaged by the worst wildfires seen in decades, with large swaths of the country devastated since the fire season began in late July. In the state of New South Wales (NSW) alone, more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. State and federal authorities are struggling to contain the massive blazes. The heaviest structural damage occurred in NSW, the country’s most populated state, where 1,588 homes have been destroyed and over 650 damaged.
In total, more than 7.3 million hectares (17.9 million acres) have been burned across Australia’s six states, an area larger than the countries of Belgium and Denmark combined. The worst-affected state is NSW, with more than 4.9 million hectares (12.1 million acres) burned. Blazes have torn through bushland, wooded areas, and national parks like the Blue Mountains. Some of Australia’s largest cities have also been affected, including Melbourne and Sydney, where fires have damaged homes in the outer suburbs and thick plumes of smoke have blanketed the urban center
The fires range in area from small blazes, isolated buildings or part of a neighborhood, to massive infernos that occupy entire hectares of land. Each year there is a fire season during the Australian summer, with hot, dry weather making it easy for blazes to start and spread.
Other than Humans, Natural causes are to blame most of the time, like lightning strikes in drought-affected forests. Dry lightning was responsible for starting a number of fires. Environmentalists want to blame it on climate change to pressurize government and their agenda.
How to Control bush Fire:
Create Dividers or blocks of land: Every Grass land or forest should be divided in blocks of few kilometers and create at least 100 meters dividers in between. These dividers should be slash and burn with controlled manner every year.
Alter landscape : Australia’s most common tree Acacia (wattle), Banksia, Boronia, Eucalypt, Melaleuca, Grevillea, Australian conifers are highly flammable that makes fire to spread faster and turn deadly. By altering these trees landscape different species which are not inflammable can reduce the spread of fire.
Yakka Plant, Common Tussock Grass, salt bush, Invasive grasses such as Buffel (Cenchrus ciliaris) and Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus) are now significantly increasing the bushfire risk because these are also highly flammable. All these grass planes to be removed or burnt with controlled fire before summer or isolate sections of forest or grass land by dividing at least width of 100 mtrs between different blocks of land, else fire can be blown to next block if length is few meters by wind.
Slash and Burn or controlled Fire: Before summer starts, not only divers of the blocks but any possible dry grass or wood should be burnt, cleaned or can be convert into compost by local people/Community, without waiting for government for every action just because they are paying taxes.
Create isolated blocks: Many animals and endangered species died because of Bush fires. By creating clean plain area, where animals can take refuge at the time of fire. By this slow moving animals or regional animals can be saved and take shelter. creating safe zone every 4/5km can save many animals
Compressed mud bricks house: Most of the rural community houses are built mostly with wood which has very high risk of fire hazard in summer because of temperature, these houses can be built with compressed mud bricks which are not only fire proof but keep house cooler in summer time.
Fight fire with fire: Only fire can Stop fire, to control advancing Fire, one has to creat buffer zone by controlled buring in advance. and at the same time Fire should be attacked from back. As firefighters cannt face blazing fire when wind blowing towards them with smoke/Ash and heat. Dropping water from Helicopter also not that effective. there should be all terrain vehicle with high water sprayer, unless fire is not estiguished, water should be sprayed, most of the time water dropped fom Helicopter miss its target and all water and efforts r wasted, instead Helicopter can deliver water to All Terrain vehicle which estiguish fire effectively.
Controlling Fire is not only government responsibility but each Citizen duty too, they can keep their communities and high risk areas under control with various methods by cleaning/controlled fire etc.