(To put this number in perspective: since the U.S. has about 14 times the population of Australia, that’s like 1,800-plus Americans dying–a 9/11-size tragedy in the making.)
AFP: Global warming.
WHY DOES AUSTRALIA SUFFER BUSHFIRES?
Bushfires are a natural phenomenon in Australia, due to its hot, dry environment. Aborigines also traditionally burned the country for many reasons: hunting, communication, horticulture, ease of travel and for ceremonies. This constant burning controlled the build up of fuel and reduced large, intense fires. A mosaic of growth in different stages and types of vegetation development, which provided a range of food sources and habitats both for Aborigines and the animals they hunted. European settlement has seen an end to Aboriginal burning and resulted in a build up in fuel for fires across Australia.
Prime Minister Rudd: “Mass Murder,” “This is a level of horror that few of us anticipated.”