Major bushfires in Australia



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Major bushfires in Australia


This section lists some of the major individual fires that have occurred. For an index to articles on individual fire seasons see List of Australian bushfire seasons

Bushfires have accounted for over 800 deaths in Australia since 1851 and the total accumulated cost is estimated at $1.6 billion.[22] In terms of monetary cost however, they rate behind the damage caused by drought, severe storms, hail, and cyclones,[23] perhaps because they most commonly occur outside highly populated urban areas.

Australia's worst ever recorded natural disaster was a Bushfire, the Victorian Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009, where 173 people lost their lives.

Some of the most severe Australian bushfires, in chronological order, have included:



Fire

Location

Area burned
1 ha ≈ 2.5 acres


Date

Human Deaths

Properties damaged

Black Thursday bushfires

Victoria, Australia

≈ 5 million hectares (ha)

6 February 1851

about 12

1 million sheep; thousands of cattle[24][25]

Red Tuesday bushfires

Victoria

260,000 ha

1 February 1898

12

2,000 buildings[25]

1926 bushfires

Victoria




February – March 1926

60[26]

1000

Black Friday bushfires

Victoria

2 million ha

December 1938 – January 1939, peaking 13 January 1939

71

3,700

1944 Bushfires

Victoria

1 million ha estimated

14 January – 14 February 1944

15–20

more than 500 houses[25]

1951-2 Bushfires

Victoria




Summer 1951–52

at least 10[27]




Black Sunday Bushfires

South Australia




2 January 1955

2




1961 Western Australian bushfires[28]

Western Australia

1,800,000 ha

January–March 1961

0

160 homes

1962 bushfires

Victoria




14–16 January 1962

32

450 houses[26]

Southern Highlands bushfires

New South Wales




5–14 March 1965

3

59 homes

Tasmanian "Black Tuesday" bushfires

Tasmania

Approximately 264,000 ha

7 February 1967

62

1,293 homes[25]

Dandenong Ranges Bushfire

Victoria

1,920 ha

19 February 1968




53 homes 10 other buildings

1969 bushfires

Victoria




8 January 1969

23

230 houses[26]

Western Districts Bushfires

Victoria

103,000 ha

12 February 1977

4

116 houses, 340 Buildings

1978 Western Australian Bushfires

Western Australia

114,000 ha

4 April 1978

2

6 buildings (drop in wind in early evening is said to have saved the towns of Donnybrook, Boyup Brook, Manjimup, and Bridgetown.)

1979 Sydney bushfires

Sydney, and Region NSW




December 1979

5

28 homes destroyed, 20 homes damaged[29]

1980 Waterfall bushfire

Waterfall, NSW

>1 million ha

3 November 1980

5 firefighters

14 homes[30]

Ash Wednesday bushfires

South Australia and Victoria

418,000 ha

16 February 1983

75

about 2,400 houses

Central Victoria Bushfires

Victoria

50,800 ha

14 January 1985

3

180+ houses

Sydney Hills District and Central Coast Bushfires

New South Wales




16 October 1991

2

14 houses[31]

1994 Eastern seaboard fires

New South Wales

≈400,000 ha[32]

27 December 1993 – 16 January 1994

4

225 homes

Wooroloo Bushfire

Western Australia

10,500 ha

8 January 1997

0

16 homes

Dandenongs bushfire

Victoria

400

21 January 1997

3

41 homes[33]

Lithgow bushfire

New South Wales




2 December 1997

2[33]




Perth and SW Region bushfires

Western Australia

23,000 ha

2 December 1997

2 (21 injuries)

1 home lost

Linton bushfire

Victoria




2 December 1998

5




Black Christmas

New South Wales

300,000 ha

25 December 2001 – 2002

0

121 homes

2003 Canberra bushfires

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

160,000 ha[25]

18–22 January 2003

4

almost 500 homes[33]

2003 Eastern Victorian alpine bushfires

Victoria

over 1.3 million ha

8 January – 8 March 2003

3

41 homes

Tenterden

Western Australia




December 2003

2

(2,110,000 ha of forest burnt during the 2002–2003 bushfire season in the S/W of WA)

Eyre Peninsula bushfire

South Australia

145,000 ha

10–12 January 2005

9

93 homes

2006 Central Coast bushfire

Central Coast, New South Wales




New Years Day, 2006







Jail Break Inn Fire

Junee, New South Wales

30,000 ha[34]

New Years Day 2006

0

Livestock losses estimated to be over 20,000. Seven homes, seven headers and four shearing sheds destroyed. 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) of fencing damaged.[35]

2005 Victorian bushfires

Victoria

160,000 ha

December 2005 – January 2006

4

57 houses, 359 farm buildings, 65,000 stock losses, fires occurred in the Stawell, Moondarra, Anakie, Yea, and Kinglake regions[36]

2006 Grampians Bushfire

Victoria

184,000

January 2006

2

A total of 57 houses, more than 350 other buildings were destroyed.

Pulletop bushfire

Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

9,000

6 February 2006

0

2,500 sheep and 6 cattle killed, 3 vehicles and 2 hay sheds destroyed as well as 50 km of fencing.

2006–07 Eastern Victoria Great Divide bushfires

Victoria

1,200,000 - 1,300,000 ha

1 December 2006 – 6 February 2007

1

51 homes[37][38]

Dwellingup bushfire

Western Australia

12,000 ha

4 February 2007

0

16

Kangaroo Island Bushfires

South Australia

95,000 ha

6–14 December 2007

1




Boorabbin National Park

Western Australia

40,000 ha

30 December 2007

3

Powerlines and Great Eastern Highway, forced to close for 2 weeks

Black Saturday bushfires

Victoria

450,000+ ha

7 February 2009 – 14 March 2009

173

2,029+ houses, 2,000 other structures

Toodyay Bushfire

Western Australia

3,000+ ha

29 December 2009

0

38

Lake Clifton Bushfire

Western Australia

2,000+ ha

11 January 2011

0

10 homes destroyed

Roleystone Kelmscott Bushfire

Western Australia

1,500+ ha

6–8 February 2011

0

72 homes destroyed, 32 damaged, Buckingham Bridge on Brookton Highway collapsed and closed for 3 weeks whilst a temporary bridge was constructed and opened a month after the fires

Margaret River Bushfire

Western Australia

4,000 ha

24 November 2011

0

34 homes destroyed including the historic Wallcliffe House[39]

Tasmanian Bushfires

Tasmania

20,000+ ha

4 January 2013

1

At least 170 buildings

Warrumbungle Bushfire

New South Wales

54,000 ha

18 January 2013

0

At least 53 homes, 118 sheds, agricultural machinery and livestock. Infrastructure destroyed at Siding Spring Observatory.[40]

2013 New South Wales bushfires

New South Wales

100,000+ ha

16 October - November 2013

2

As of 19 October 2013[update] at least 248 buildings destroyed statewide (inc. 208 dwellings),[41] another 109 damaged in Springwood, Winmalee and Yellow Rock[42][43]

Major fires also occurred in the Hunter, Central Coast, Macarthur and Port Stephens regions causing significant damage.



2014 Parkerville bushfire

Western Australia

386 ha

12 January 2014

1

56 Homes

2014 Grampians Bushfire

Victoria

51800 ha

17 January 2014

1

Fire so intense it created a 12 km-wide convection column, generating its own weather and lightning strikes

2014 East Gippsland bushfires

Victoria

166000 ha

15 January to 10 March 2014

0

On 15 January several lightning strikes started fires in forested areas. During February further lightning strikes occurred, and especially on 9 February these fires grew and coalesced into a 166,000ha Goongerrah-Deddick Fire complex (850 km perimeter) with other smaller fires affecting a further 10,000 ha. 11 homes destroyed


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