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Australia
Victoria
Australia Natural Disasters

What was the geographical process that caused the Black Saturday bushfires to occur?

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May 02, 2012 4:28AM

Victoria and the southern Australia region had recently experienced one of their hottest summers on record, with a heatwave over parts of Victoria and South Australia. This was on top of a drought which had lasted a dozen years. This had dried up the vegetation, making it like tinder in a fireplace - easily ignited and easily spread. The bushfires took place in mountainous countryside, and fires move much more quickly uphiill.

Spot fires also occurred as strong, gusting winds - some hurricane-force - carried blazing embers beyond the fire fronts: these fires quickly fanned into larger fires.