To understand a type of extreme weather caused by heat.
To look at the choices made by people in a extreme weather event.
To advise people on what to do in a disaster situation.
On the 8 th February 2009 wildfires started across Victoria, the southern state of Australia, in total there were 85 fires going at one point, today there are 25 still burning. The death toll currently stands at close to 200 people. The map below shows the locations of the major fires in the state of Victoria.
How did the fires happen?
Australia is the most fire prone country on earth with experts saying that most fires are caused by lightning.
Many of the fires were caused by just the right conditions, dry land and trees, limited water, a long dry summer and current temperatures in excess of 42 degrees.
However it is believed that some fires may have been started on purpose, something the Prime Minister of Australia is calling ‘mass murder’.
Slideshow and comments
If it could happen anywhere?
Where would you wish it and why?
Would it make a difference and why?
Is it just a weather phenomenon or not and why?
Stories from the fire
One woman told Australian television how she and her children survived by hiding in a wombat hole in the ground. Many Australian animals survive bushfires by burrowing.
Ross Buchanan, in the town of Kinglake where more than 30 died, lost his two children in a blaze, after taking them to his in-laws in another town, where he thought they would be safe.
While Buchanan battled to save his Kinglake home, his children died as fire swept through the other town.
Choices in a wildfire
Officials say the golden rule of surviving forest fires is to evacuate early or stay and defend their homes, but experts say that it appears many victims panicked and fled at the worst time. Some were incinerated in cars as they tried to outrun the flames.
It is not law to evacuate areas in a wildfire, people are given the choice to leave or stay and defend their homes. Is this the right choice? Should evacuation be compulsory?
You are going to create a information poster on wildfires. You need to include:
How they start.
Why they are dangerous, how many people are killed, injured and why.
What people should do.
The dangers of starting fires and what should happen to people caught starting fires.
Make it colourful and easy to understand and read from a distance.
Understand a type of extreme weather caused by heat.
Know the choices made by people in a extreme weather event.
Did you advise people on what to do in a disaster situation.