by Viv Forbes, science writer
Bushfires are normal events in this season in tropical and sub-tropical latitudes of the southern hemisphere – in Australia, Africa and South America. Even Captain Cook noted many fires in Eastern Australia in 1770, long before the era of “global warming” hysteria.
What is unusual is the number and ferocity of recent Australian fires.
Destructive bushfires need three things – a big load of dry fuel, hot dry winds and a point of ignition.
A big load of dry fuel, close to towns and buildings, in this season, is a sign of gross mis-management (seen most commonly in public lands). That fuel should have been raked, dozed or burnt in safer weather conditions.
Hot dry winds are not unusual in this season in these latitudes – no use whinging.
But how do 100+ bushfires start suddenly? There have been no lightning storms so who are the arsonists or idiots starting these fires?