Bookmark and Share

Bush Fire Impact

There are a number of ways in which bush fire can impact on a structure causing it to ignite. Bush fire attack refers to the ways in which a bush fire might attack its surrounds, causing it to spread.

There are five main forms of bush fire attack:

  1. Wind
  2. Smoke
  3. Embers
  4. Radiant heat
  5. Direct flame

Evidence indicates ember attack as being responsible for most bush fire related house and structure fires. These hot embers are driven by the strong hot winds associated with a bush fire and enter into vulnerable areas of a building, such as openings under the structure, the roof space, door jams and open windows or even closed doors and windows which have been damaged by debris.

Strong winds may also extend flames along a more horizontal plane closer to building elements, increasing the risk of ignition through exposure to radiation and conducted heat.

While smoke will do minimal damage to property, it can severely affect both the health of residents and visibility. Smoke is a significant factor in areas where aged or mobility impaired persons reside and therefore consideration of this needs to be made as part of your overall plan, when deciding how to best cope with a bush fire.

To effectively protect a building and increase its chances of survival, all six Bush Fire Protection Measures need to be addressed. Overall, the intention of bush fire protection measures should be to prevent flame contact to a structure, reduce radiant heat to below the ignition thresholds for various elements of a building, to minimise the potential for embers to cause ignition and reduce the effects of smoke on residents and fire fighters.