How bushfires behave

The speed and intensity of a bushfire depends on three factors

A bushfire is any uncontrolled fire burning in a forest, woodland, scrub or grassland. These fires are unplanned, but they are a natural feature of the Australian landscape. Many of Australia’s trees and plants need fire to regenerate, and many have adapted to the harsh conditions our climate delivers.

The fire behaviour triangle

The behaviour of a bushfire, such as its intensity and how quickly it moves, depends on three factors: vegetation, weather, and terrain. This is known as the fire behaviour triangle – because all three factors combine to shape the characteristics of the bushfire.

Drawing of the fire behaviour triangle

Terrain, vegetation and weather make up the fire behaviour triangle