1999 Sydney Bushfires

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Bibliography for Natural Hazards Assignment


Kipnonen D, Sydney Morning Herald, "Policemen dwarfed by flames on Hume Highway", viewed on 22 March, <http://www.smh.com.au/ftimages/2005/04/27/1114462078995.html >

Sonny Photos, "Despite the hardships, firefighters still toil the smog and continue fighting the fire", viewed 22March, <http://sonnyphotos.typepad.com/sonny/current_affairs/index.html>

District Council of Mount Barker," Some examples of Booklets, communities and individuals may purchase for bushfire management and scenarios", viewed 22 March, <http://www.dcmtbarker.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=456>

McClish B, 1995, "Bushfire", 1st edn, Cardigan Street Publishers, Carlton Victoria, "Indication on the location of fires around Sydney", Pg 37

1993, " Australia Through Time", 2003 Edn, Random House Australia Pty Ltd, Milsons Point, "Huge Areas of bushland were burnt out, some 600,00hectares in all", Pg 518


McInnis, P 1996, "Bushfires", viewed 22 March 2007, <http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/fireweek.htm>

Hoser, R 1994, "Sydney's 1994 Bushfires - The Effects Of These And Other Bushfires On Australia's Herpetofauna", viewed 22 March 2007, <http://www.smuggled.com/busfir1.htm>

NSW Government, 2007, "Major Bushfire Emergencies in Australia", viewed 22 March 2007, <http://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/content.php/222.html>

Thomson, M Not stated, "Bushfires", viewed 22 March 2007, <http://home.iprimus.com.au/ozthunder/oz/bushfire.html>

Wikipedia Contributors, 17/3/2007, " Bibliographic details for 1994 Eastern seaboard fires", viewed 23 March 2007, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Eastern_seaboard_fires>

NSW Fire Brigade, 18/10/2005, "Home Bushfire Preparation", viewed 23 March 2007, http://www.nswfb.nsw.gov.au/community/factsheets/english/02_bushfire_prep.php

Logan City Council, 30/11/2006, "Bushfires", viewed 20 March 2007, <http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/LCC/residents/disasters/bushfires.htm>

NRMA Insurance, 2007, "Bushfires Preparation Checklist", viewed 21March 2007, <http://www.nrma.com.au/pub/nrma/home/homehelp/secure-protect/bushfires/preparation.shtml>

NSW Rural Fire Service, 22/3/2007, "Bushfire Management", viewed 18 Match 2007, <http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?CAT_ID=184>

Federal Government, 18/10/2006, "Bushfire Mitigation Process Guidelines", viewed 22 March 2007, <http://www.dotars.gov.au/disasters/bmp/guidelines/index.aspx>

Howard, R 2001, 'Sydney's Fires-A Short Story", viewed 19 March 2007, <http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture/2001-December/014080.html>


McClish B, 1995, "Bushfire", 1st edn, Cardigan Street Publishers, Carlton Victoria

1993, " Australia Through Time", 2003 Edn, Random House Australia Pty Ltd, Milsons Point

Stretton, L 1994, "The Wildfires of 1994", 1st Edn, Weldon Kids Pty Ltd, Willoughby Australia

1994, "New South Wales Burning", 1st Edn, Sesta Pty Ltd, Melbourne

The Sydney 1994 Bushfires were disastrous. Authorities were not ready for the extra-ordinary number of fires; consequently they had to call for external help. The next time a major fire occurs in Australia, we need to be ready.


Individually, we need to be certain that house and surroundings in bushfire prone areas meet safety requirements. A checklist would be great option and is available at: � HYPERLINK "http://www.nswfb.nsw.gov.au/community/factsheets/english/02_bushfire_prep.php" ��http://www.nswfb.nsw.gov.au/community/factsheets/english/02_bushfire_prep.php�

Individuals must come up with emergency evacuation plans. In a worse case scenario, they must decide to either evacuate or defend their homes. A good website which details what to do in different bushfire scenarios is: � HYPERLINK "http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/LCC/residents/disasters/bushfires.htm" ��http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/LCC/residents/disasters/bushfires.htm�

Individuals must also make sure, if possible, there house is insured and that other family members in the vicinity are safe. Another great site for bushfire management on the individual level would be: � HYPERLINK "http://www.nrma.com.au/pub/nrma/home/homehelp/secure-protect/bushfires/preparation.shtml" ��http://www.nrma.com.au/pub/nrma/home/homehelp/secure-protect/bushfires/preparation.shtml�


On a community level, cooperation for bushfire preparation should be commenced, and towns should be prepared for the worst. Constant monitoring of the elderly, frail and unsound mind should be inducted and refuge Sites must be sought carefully. Neighborhood Evacuation Plans should be created to minimise tragedies. A good website for this management would be � HYPERLINK "http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?CAT_ID=184" ��http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?CAT_ID=184�


Governments must be ready to aid evacuees from bushfire affected areas. Adequate firefighters and equipment should be available. The government must also reassess its options or call on the community for advice in the likelihood of a bushfire. Some legislation concerning relief funds and mitigation processes can be found at: � HYPERLINK "http://www.dotars.gov.au/disasters/bmp/guidelines/index.aspx" ��http://www.dotars.gov.au/disasters/bmp/guidelines/index.aspx�

In conclusion, the Sydney 1994 Bushfires were the most destructive fires to occur in the past previous 50 years. It not only affected NSW but all the other states.

Background Information:

Occurred from 27th December 1993, to 16th January 1994.

Total of 800 destructive bushfires, most within 250km of Sydney.

Ran from Queensland border, down to Bega and inland to Bathurst.

Attracted world wide coverage, as theoretically, Sydney had been surrounded by fires and all transport links leading to this city had been terminated.

For more information on this particular event visit � HYPERLINK "http://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/content.php/222.html" ��http://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/content.php/222.html�

Some examples of Booklets, communities and individuals may purchase for bushfire management and scenarios

Source: District Council of Mount Barker

Policemen dwarfed by flames on Hume Highway

Source: Dallas Kilponen, SMH

Around 90% of the total fires were started by arsons, rest by lightning strikes. They spread at tremendous speeds due to the dry conditions, as no significant rainfall had been recorded in NSW. Humidity (10%) was low and copious amounts of built up dry leaves aided the fires. Strong winds up to 50km/h and constant temperatures of around 30-40(C also accelerated the fires causing widespread damage.

Originally there were only a few spot fires, however, strong winds from the South fanned the blaze North towards the Central Coast. Easterly breezes also spread fires towards the Blue Mountains.

Indication on the location of fires around Sydney

Source: Bushfire Book by Bruce McClish

Source: Australia through Time 2003 Edition

Social Impact

Four people died due to the fire, two of whom were volunteer firefighters. 27, 250citizens were evacuated and 205 homes were reduced to ash with 70 more disintegrated. Clouds of smog shrouded NSW causing many respiratory sicknesses such as Asthma attacks.

Environmental Impact

The environment suffered drastically; 800,000 hectares of land burnt, with the almost total annihilation of the Royal National Park, causing wildlife such as koalas to perish, along with 200livestock.

Led to large amounts of ash particles in the air, also caused some Global Warming

Economic Impact

Economically, an estimated $58,000,000 worth of damage was recorded. Businesses and infrastructure were also burnt accompanying 600km of fencing and 7km of fire-hose.

Approximately 20000 volunteer firefighters were deployed from other states and New Zealand along with numbers of fire trucks and helicopters. The Navy, Army and Air Force were also called in to join the firefight. Some residents, despite warnings, attempted to defend their homes from the fires. Whole rural communities were known to try and combat the fires.

Post Bushfire, the Sydney Mayor initiated the Sydney Bushfire Appeal, which raised $6,000,000 for the survivors. Prime Minister Paul Keating also encouraged generosity to charities. In response to the damage, insurance companies paid out $58,000,000 in damage payments to victims. Many other charities, companies, church groups, schools appealed for donations.

Despite the hardships, firefighters still toil the smog and continue fighting the fires

Source: Sonny Photos