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The Effects of Environmental Change Essay

A changing environment can have many effects on our lives, being good or bad. The environment can change as a result of many things such as change over time, human intervention or natural disasters. Bushfires are a very significant natural disaster. Bushfires change the environment when they burn through forests and urban areas. They have many effects before they occur such as the way we live and how we prepare for a bushfire, and then there are the after-effects of the destruction caused when a bushfire burns through an area.

Living in a bushfire prone area requires us to change the way we live because we must prepare our properties for protection against fires. Gutters must be kept clear and trees overhanging houses must be cut down. Many people also burn off around their land to save leaf litter and bark build-up. For many people living in the Hawkesbury area, these activities are a weekend routine, however, people living in urban areas don’t need to make this change to their lives because of the threat of bushfires.

When a bushfire burns it releases huge amounts of smoke and ash into the air above and surrounding it. This thick, heavy haze pollutes the air to a major extent, making it hard to breath in, settling on rooves and in gutters of homes with water tanks, and can even effect the operation of engines as their air intake is compromised. Also, pollution can be carried into many areas far from the actual blaze by the wind. This just multiplies the smoke affected area.

Bushfires are one of the most destructive natural disasters in the world, they destroy everything in their paths, most that lies in the way of a bushfire is bushland however bushfires also destroy homes and other buildings such as sheds/garages. Once the fire is upon the owner’s property, there isn’t really much that can be done to protect houses from burning. For anyone to lose their home to a bushfire would no doubt be one of the most significant turning points of their life, having a major effect on many aspects of their life immediately and in the long term. In the recent fire disaster in California, a total of 2,125 homes were destroyed (as of October 31 2003), including one whole town overnight [Sydney Morning Herald].

Although a rare effect on our lives, Fires are the cause of many deaths to humans and animals. Humans and animals stand no chance whatsoever against a bushfire, the only way that we can survive one is if we get out of its way. Many people have died trying to save their houses and possessions, creating an enormous effect on their families and friends.

When and even before bushfires strike, they can have many effects on our lives, especially to many of us who live in rural areas of the Hawkesbury region.

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