Australian bushfires like 1500 Hiroshimas, says expert

May 21st, 2009 - 6:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, May 21 (ANI): The devastating February bushfires that killed 173 people across Australia generated enough energy to fuel 1,500 atomic bombs, the bushfires royal commission has been told.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted bushfire behaviour analyst Dr Kevin Tolhurst told the commission the fires were like “1500 atomic bombs the size of Hiroshima”.

“It’s an enormous amount of energy,” he said.

Dr Tolhurst estimated the fire moved at a speed of about 120km/h, which was about the same speed estimated on Ash Wednesday.

In some areas, the blaze spotted 35km ahead of the main fire.

Dr Tolhurst said it was important to evaluate a fire on a three dimensional level, taking into account not just surface winds but upper winds created by the plume of smoke above a fire.

He showed the commission photos of trees that had been snapped off about three to four metres above ground level in the February 7 Black Saturday bushfires by these types of winds.

The hearing continues. (ANI)

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