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Increasing threat of megafires

Many scientists believe we are already experiencing megafires and that they will continue to increase in the future. In this clip you will hear from Australian scientists at the forefront of fire research. Discover what they have to say about the causes, projections, and consequences of an increased megafire threat.

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Ecological effects of bushfires

Did you know that Australia is the most flammable continent on Earth? Watch this clip to discover how bushfires impact natural ecosystems, and how the increasing global threat of bushfires may affect Australia. Australian scientists explain the ecological consequences of fire and a US expert describes his concerns for the future.

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Virtually avoiding disaster

Sharing experiences, photographs and opinions via social media has taken the world by storm. In this clip from 2013, we see social media networks being embraced by a new set of users who believe that it can save lives during natural disasters. But should we be concerned about their potential for misuse?

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Fire management strategies

What role do fire-behaviour specialists and ecologists have in fire management? Watch this clip to find out about issues relating to fire management in Australia, in particular prescribed burning.

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Bushfires affect river water

Bushfires have a serious impact on forests, but how might they affect the water supply in a major river system? Watch this 2008 clip to find out why bushfires are likely to result in much less water downstream in the Murray-Darling river system. Discover why this is only going to get worse in the future, and learn about ...

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Surviving the extremes

What would you do if a natural disaster was heading for you? Would you panic? Dr Jonica Newby and the Catalyst team stage two disaster scenarios and throw them at two Australian families who know only that a disaster of some kind is coming. How will they cope? And how would you?

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Hotspot spotter wins top robot prize

A team of primary school students demonstrate the national prize-winning robot they invented. They designed this robot to help prevent bushfires by detecting trees in danger of exploding into flames.

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Fighting fire with fire: the debate

How do we best protect communities from the threat of bushfire? Prescribed burning is the preferred method in many parts of Australia, but it remains controversial. This clip investigates the science behind prescribed burning. Does it save property and lives, and can it destroy ecosystems?

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Summer bushfire fears

Unseasonably warm weather leading up to the start of the 2013 fire season was an ominous sign. This clip from September that year investigates how technology is used to better predict the likelihood of bushfire, as well as helping firefighters bring blazes under control.

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How will fire change the climate?

Considering the impact of a changing climate on the severity and frequency of fires is one thing, but how about the impact of fires on climate? Why does Professor David Bowman describe this scenario as a 'fire spiral'? What are the consequences of a world with fewer forests? As Professor Craig Allen explains, drought and ...

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Bushfire disaster, Victoria 2009

Investigate Victoria's devastating bushfires of 2009 and find out why they have been called Australia's worst ever natural disaster. In this clip you will see the ferocious fires that ripped through parts of Victoria, destroying bushland, farms, houses, schools and cars. Find out what made these fires so devastating.

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Megafires

Are we approaching the 'age of megafires'? It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but some scientists believe there is cause for concern. Watch this clip to find out how bushfires as we know them are changing. Discover why.

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Preparing for a bushfire

How should you prepare for a bushfire? Watch this clip to discover how two different families prepared for the 2006 Victorian bushfires that hit their town. Find out how the children participated in the fire plan and helped keep their family and house safe.

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Spark: a better way to predict the spread of bushfires

In recent years, new technologies have helped us respond to natural disasters more quickly by providing up-to-date information as it becomes available. What if we could take this one step further with new technologies that can also predict disasters? Learn how Spark, which uses our existing knowledge of bushfire behaviours ...

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What is a megafire?

Join Catalyst reporter Anja Taylor as she visits the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico and discovers the impacts of recent megafires on the landscape there. What is a megafire? And how is a megafire different from a regular wildfire? How have recent fires permanently transformed the landscapes that Anja and Professor Craig ...

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Climate and bushfires in Australia

What can science tell us about the major cause of bushfires in Australia's past? How can it help us predict future bushfires? Two scientists discuss evidence related to bushfire regimes (bushfire patterns, types and intensity). Please note that this clip contains recent images of homes destroyed by fire that may disturb ...

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CFA: fire safety on the farm

This is an online resource about farm fire safety containing two sections - Key advice for farmers and Essential steps before fire season - in point form, as well as a link to a downloadable PDF containing agricultural fire management guidelines. There is also a link to a resource on hay and fire safety. This resource is ...

Online

CFA Bushfires - a geography resource for Australian students

This is an illustrated PDF with comprehensive information about the causes and behaviours of bushfire as well as the impact fires have on natural and human environments. Taking a geographic perspective, the text is supported with photographs, maps, aerial photography, diagrams, and tables. Each chapter includes activities ...

Online

Bushfire education: emergency triple zero

This is a teacher resource containing a lesson plan based on an interactive online narrative, Triple zero kids' challenge - story 8. It provides guidelines for a class discussion about a story of two children who come across a bushfire. The story prompts the user to dial 000 on a simulated mobile phone and poses the types ...

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Bushfire education: weather part 1

This is a downloadable task sheet that looks at the effect of weather on bushfires, with tasks such as analysing temperature tables, interpreting articles, and summarising information about weather conditions at the time of the Black Friday and Ash Wednesday bushfires. Students draw conclusions about the elements of weather ...