Natural Hazards - Bushfires

Topics: Black Saturday bushfires, Kinglake, Victoria, Ash Wednesday fires Pages: 4 (1242 words) Published: August 26, 2013
1.Define what is meant by the term “natural hazard”.
A natural hazard is a threat of a naturally occurring event that will have a negative effect on people or the environment.

2. Provide a brief description of the type of hazard you have been allocated.

Bushfires: A bushfire is a large out-of-control fire occurring in areas with large amounts of flammable vegetation. Bushfires are hard to control as the right weather conditions and wind direction can cause a bushfire to spread from the forest to civilisation. They occur naturally as a result of lightning strikes and spontaneous combustion, or it is the result from activities of people (cigarettes and matches discarded into the bush, electricity cables, sparks from machinery and tools and burning off. There are 2 main types of bushfires; surface bushfires and crown bushfires. A surface bushfire on where the fuel for the fire is composed of grass, low shrub and ground litter. A crown bushfire occurs from the heat and flames of a surface bushfire. It ignites the crowns of trees and can spread very quickly. Bushfires usually occur during the hotter months around summer and Australia is frequently ravaged by bushfires, more so than any other country in the world.

3.Outline the physical/geographical processes that cause this hazard.

Weather is a major contributor to bushfires. The hotter and drier, the more likely it is for a bushfire to start and spread uncontrollably. High winds will reduce humidity, and cause an ongoing bushfire to spread more rapidly. Bushfires often happen inland eg. In deserts, rainforests, country sides, because the weather is often dry. When the bushfires die, trees, bushes and all sorts of plants and ground plants are burnt and dead. These high winds are usually brought from off the desert areas in Australia. Therefore, the geographic process tends to be that bushfires are more common inland, rather than near the coast, where weather is drier.

4.Discuss a particular...
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