2009 Victorian bushfires

From Greenlivingpedia, a wiki on green living, building and energy

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
Revision as of 12:02, 18 February 2009 (edit)
Peter Campbell (Talk | contribs)
m (Weather - Fix URL)
← Previous diff
Revision as of 12:39, 18 February 2009 (edit) (undo)
Peter Campbell (Talk | contribs)
(Weather - Add impacts of fires)
Next diff →
Line 68: Line 68:
Wind chart from Fawkner Beacon in Port Phillip bay illustrating wind change to Southerly at approximately 5pm in Melbourne Wind chart from Fawkner Beacon in Port Phillip bay illustrating wind change to Southerly at approximately 5pm in Melbourne
 +
 +==Impacts of fires==
 +As at February 18, 2009, 201 people are reported dead.
 +
 +Over 1 million native animals are estimated to have died.
 +
 +Millions of tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere. Australia's total emissions per year are around 330m tonnes of CO2. Previous research has shown that the bush fires in 2003 and 2006-07 had put up to 105m tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because they burned up land carrying 50 to 80 tonnes of carbon per hectare. This time, however, the forests being destroyed are even more carbon-rich, with more than 100 tonnes of above-ground carbon per hectare. The affected area is more than twice the size of London and takes in more than 20 towns north of Melbourne, so the CO2 emissions from this year's disaster could be far larger than previous fires.<ref>[http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/13/carbonemissions-australia Australian bushfires pump out millions of tonnes of carbon], guardian.co.uk</ref>
==Causes of death== ==Causes of death==

Revision as of 12:39, 18 February 2009

The 2009 Victorian bushfires on Saturday 7 February 2009 were the worst bushfires in Australia's history, surpassing both the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 and the Black Friday fires in 1939.

Contents

Kilmore East and Murrindindi Mill initial fire tracks

Initial track of the fires that started at Kilmore East and Murrindindi Mill.

Note that the Kilmore East fire later travelled North East (after the southerly wind change) to burn Flowerdale.

Chronology of the fires

Wednesday 28 January 2009
Delburn fire started in Gippsland, arson suspected.
Monday 2 February 2009.
Bunyip State Park fire started by lightning
Saturday 7 February 2009. Black Saturday
Horsham fire started at 12:30
Kilmore fire started on farmland at about 14:30
Wandong, Kinglake West, Strathewan, Kinglake and Steels Creek and Flowerdale townships burnt.
Murrindindi Mill fire started, arson suspected.
Narbethong and Marysville townships burnt.
Churchill fire started, arson suspected.
Bendigo fire started at 16:30
17:00 Wind direction changed from northerly to southerly in Melbourne
Beechworth fire started at 19:00
Sunday 8 February 2009.
Kilmore and Murrindindi Mill fires merge to form the Kinglake fire complex.
Wilsons Promontory fire started by lightning

Weather

The fires came as Melbourne reached its hottest ever temperature of 46.4 degrees.[1]

The extremely hot temperatures were accompanied by very strong north westerly winds, which changed to strong south easterly winds in the late afternoon.

Wind chart from Fawkner Beacon in Port Phillip bay illustrating wind change to Southerly at approximately 5pm in Melbourne

Impacts of fires

As at February 18, 2009, 201 people are reported dead.

Over 1 million native animals are estimated to have died.

Millions of tonnes of carbon have been released to the atmosphere. Australia's total emissions per year are around 330m tonnes of CO2. Previous research has shown that the bush fires in 2003 and 2006-07 had put up to 105m tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because they burned up land carrying 50 to 80 tonnes of carbon per hectare. This time, however, the forests being destroyed are even more carbon-rich, with more than 100 tonnes of above-ground carbon per hectare. The affected area is more than twice the size of London and takes in more than 20 towns north of Melbourne, so the CO2 emissions from this year's disaster could be far larger than previous fires.[2]

Causes of death

  • Radiant heat; trapped in dwelling for shelter or while defending against fire
  • Radiant heat; trapped in motor vehicle while attempting to evacuate
  • Motor vehicle accident while attempting to evacuate (not confirmed)

See also

References

  1. Death toll may reach more than 40: police, The Age, February 7, 2009
  2. Australian bushfires pump out millions of tonnes of carbon, guardian.co.uk

External links


You can help Greenlivingpedia by adding more content to this stub article. Click on the edit tab above the article title to start editing and adding content.


Personal tools