Helix @ CSIRO

Last week in Science by Email we looked at the heatwave that has affected much of Australia. In this country, where heatwaves go, bushfires often follow.

A bushfire is an uncontrolled fire that burns in bushland, scrub or grasslands. They are a familiar hazard to Australians, as many parts of the continent are affected by them. While different regions have different bushfire seasons, at any one time of the year they can occur somewhere in the country.

Most bushfires occur in isolated areas or areas with few people. However, many Australians, even some in capital cities, live in bushfire-prone locations. Bushfires have caused the loss of life and property in a number of locations, with the worst fires recorded in Australia being the Black Saturday fires in Victoria in 2009.

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