Australia — Bushfires are an ever-present part of life in Australia and recent events have seen unfathomable levels of devastation. But why and how do they start? Where do they occur and what damage do they do? Look through our interactive to explore some of the most destructive fires in the nation’s history.
What makes a catastrophic bushfire?
Blazes during the past decade have caused some of the worst bushfire devastation seen in Australia, with hundreds of thousands of hectares destroyed, some 180 people killed and thousands of homes and buildings lost. Extreme fire conditions increased the severity and intensity of fires and prompted the creation of a new fire alert level catastrophic
There are many ways a bushfire can start, but for a fire to keep burning it needs fuel, oxygen and heat. Hot, dry and windy conditions and a large amount of dry vegetation can turn a small spark into a destructive blaze that can take weeks to bring under control