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Landscapes & Landforms: Bushfires

Investigate landscapes and landforms with this resource guide

brown and white cat on gray ground

Source: Jo-Anne McArthur (2020)

Bushfires are a natural hazard that Australia (particularly Victoria) is all too familiar with. They can create mass destruction and take the lives of animals and humans. Read through the resources to learn more about what bushfires are, how they start and what effects they cause.

2019-20 Eastern Victorian bushfires (Victorian Government, n.d.)

Learn more about the 2019-20 bushfires, including the impacts and recovery progress.

The bushfires' path of destruction (ABC, 2020, January 11)

Before-and-after photos show the deep wounds catastrophic fires can leave in less than a fortnight.

Australia's deadly wildfires in photos: the view from space (Space, 2020, January 16)

Fuelled by a lengthy and intensifying drought, an early kickoff to fire season in the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales began in September 2019 and continued into early 2020. Satellites from NASA and other agencies tracked the deadly wildfires from space. Scroll through this website to see photos of Australia's wildfires from space. 

Australia fires: A visual guide to the bushfire crisis (BBC, 2020, January 31)

Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought fuelled a series of massive bushfires across Australia. This website includes a great day by day map of the size of the fires, maps showing the size of land affected, and infographics demonstrating some of the devastating effects of the fires and just how the fires were formed.

Cut off: How the crisis at Mallacoota unfolded (The Age, 2020, January 19)

The plight of thousands of people huddled on the foreshore under blood-red skies made Mallacoota an international symbol of this summer's bushfire crisis. Here's how the story unfolded in real-time.

Mallacoota after the bushfire horror: 'All you can do is help now' (The Guardian, 2020, January 9)

The navy rescued thousands of holidaymakers from the tiny Victorian coastal town. Read through this article to learn more about this natural disaster and how the town of Mallacoota handled the disaster.

A month on from the devastating bushfire, Mallacoota is beginning its recovery (ABC, 2020, February 10)

The apocalyptic images of Mallacoota during the New Year's Eve bushfire were broadcast across the world. Thousands of people sheltered on the beach as the sky turned blazing red, watching as the town succumbed to the flames. It has only been a month since that terrible day, but for the town's permanent residents it is time to figure out what's next.

‘Mega fire’ forms as blazes on NSW-Victoria border join up (Daily Telegraph, 2020, January 10)

This article from the 2019/2020 bushfires describes how three different fire fronts merged into a mega fire.

After more than 240 days, Australia's New South Wales is finally free from bushfires (CNN, 2020, March 3)

The 2019/2020 bushfire crisis lasted for a staggering 240 days. Read through this article to learn more about the fires.

Australia fires: 'Apocalypse' comes to Kangaroo Island (BBC, 2020, January 17)

Kangaroo Island in South Australia has been likened to a Noah's Ark for its unique ecology. But after fierce bushfires tore through the island in 2019/2020, there are fears it may never fully recover. Read through this article to learn more about how bushfires impact local ecosystems.

Kangaroo Island before-and-after photos show bushfire destruction as national park reopens (ABC, 2020, February 18)

An unstoppable and devastating bushfire broke out on Kangaroo Island at the end of December 2019, and in the weeks that followed the fire emergency only worsened. Read through this article to see some of the before and after photos.

Kangaroo Island koala population plummets to 5000-10,000 following devastating bushfires (Adelaide Now, 2020, February 11)

As few as 5000 koalas are believed to have survived the Kangaroo Island fires, with volunteers now grappling with the task of saving and feeding the remaining population. Wildlife, Ecosystems and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Taskforce chairwoman Felicity-Ann Lewis said based on destroyed vegetation, only 5000-10,000 of the marsupials were believed to remain on the island, compared with 50,000-60,000 before the inferno. Read through this article to learn more.

Top maps and charts that explain the terrifying 2019-20 Australian bushfires (Geo Awesomeness, 2020, January 6)

Australia battles bushfires every year, but the 2019/2020 fire season was one of the worst. The wildfires that originated in the state of New South Wales in September 2019 rapidly spread throughout the continent, swallowing more than 14.7 million acres across six states till date. Here are some maps and charts that will help you understand the true scale and impact of these overwhelming fires.

Yes, the Australian bush is recovering from bushfires – but it may never be the same (The Conversation, 2020, February 19)

This article looks at the devastation the 2019/2020 fires had on the bush, and what that destruction means for the future of native landscapes.

Australia fires: 113 animal species 'need emergency help' (BBC, 2020, February 12)

Australia has identified 113 animal species which will need "urgent help" after their numbers and habitats were devastated by recent bushfires. Read through this article to learn more about how bushfires impact animal populations.

Number of animals feared dead in Australia's wildfires soars to over a billion (HuffPost, 2020, January 6)

The number of wildlife estimated to have died in Australia’s wildfire catastrophe has skyrocketed to more than 1 billion. Read through this article to learn more about the massive impact the bushfires had on Australia's wildlife.

Anatomy of a 'mega-blaze' (ABC, 2020, July 17)

This article walks through the Gospers Mountain mega-blaze from start to finish, using satellite imaging to demonstrate the ignition points and size of the fire, and also includes lots of great photos showing the people who were affected and how the fire impacted the landscape.