What to do if caught in a bushfire whilst walking in remote areas
|Survival in the open when confronted by an intense fire is not easy.
The threats to life come from three sources:
WHAT WILL THE FIRE DO?The fire behaviour is influenced by three main factors: The fuel, the weather and the topography.
The type of fuel, the amount of fuel, its moisture content, and the arrangement of the fuel, determines the intensity and rate of spread of a fire. For example, in forest land the fire burns with high intensity, but moves slowly, whereas in grassland the fire is less intense, but moves quickly.
Fires will be more intense on hot dry days than on cool humid days. Fires move more quickly when it is windy and wind changes affect fire behaviour dramatically. Topography:
1. Schedule your walk to remote forest areas to avoid the time of year when bushfires are likely to be most intense and/or occur most often.
Avoid the hottest summer months and days of Very High or Extreme fire danger. During summer, a walk on the beach may be pleasant!
3. Find an area that won't burn - the bigger the better.
You need to avoid direct flame contact by getting to an area devoid of bushfire fuel. Some examples include:
4. Protect yourself from radiant heat.
This is not easy in the open. Wear your cotton/woollen clothing. Lie down on the ground and cover yourself as far as possible. Anything that will deflect or absorb the radiant heat should be used.
5. Protect your airways.
Smoke and hot gases can cause asphyxiation and even burn the inside of the airway:
First Aid - Walk leaders should know how to treat:
Notify relevant authorities of your situation. - Bushfires are a real and immediate threat to life. - Your survival when caught in the open depends on sound judgement and taking appropriate actions.
Author "Sue Davies Regional Officer Bush Fire Service of WA November 1998"
|advocacy | advocacy2 | advocacy3 | bushfire | bushwalk
rules | club
info | day
walk | first
walk | home
page | links | buy
a bike | guidelines
checklist | leaders tips | overnight | touring bikes | photograph galleries | responsible bushwalking | safety | sitemap | tips
news | walk grades | whaling
Absolutely Stylish Website Design