Good Morning/Good afternoon. My name is Kelsey Verhoeven.
Today I am delivering a persuasive speech about bushfires. The purpose of my speech is to make people aware of what causes bushfires, how we can prevent them, and how we can help people who have been affected. Currently, there are catastrophic bushfires that are rapidly spreading across Australia’s east coast.
You may ponder and ask yourself how it affects us out here in Mount Isa. As Mount Isa experiences hot, dry, windy weather, we need to be proactive, educate the community, and decrease the fuel source. Bushfires affect our insurance, emergency services, and agriculture. Therefore we should support properties whose stock, crops, water supplies, and pastures have been affected.
Bushfires have a significant impact on affected communities, socially, economically, and environmentally. Interactions between residents are impacted when homes are destroyed and take months or years to rebuild. People are affected emotionally and mentally if belongings and memories are destroyed as these are precious and irreplaceable. Economically, businesses, schools, Tafe colleges, and aged care facilities and the like can be impacted. Bush fires have an environmental impact on our flora and fauna in the long term as vegetation is destroyed, and the food sources of our native animals is destroyed. The smoke and ash from the fires cause severe air pollution and health consequences.
We must be proactive in avoiding catastrophic bushfires that often occur during spring and summer. There are currently 60 fires burning in New South Wales and 47 fires across Queensland. At least 150 homes were destroyed in NSW, and these figures are expected to rise. 970, 000 hectares have been burnt in NSW (Naaman Zhou and Helen Davidson, 2019).
Heat is a source that is responsible for the ignition of a fire. It causes it to spread quickly by drying out and feeding nearby fuel sources, which consist of combustible material and oxygen, which supports the chemical processes that occur during a fire (The Ad Council, 2019). We need to be proactive, educate the community, and decrease the fuel source. The fires are currently on the eastern coast of Queensland but can travel at 25 kilometres per hour (GivingPress, 2019), which is 600 km per day, so it could take only three days for a fire to reach us here in Mount Isa when the weather is hot, dry and windy. (Kevin Nguyen, 2019).
When conditions are hot, dry and windy in Mount Isa, we need to reduce the fire risk by regularly mowing grass, raking up leaves, removing weeds and pruning bushes and trees. We also need to be mindful when we are having fires, making sure that there are no fuel sources nearby and that any fires we light are distinguished when no longer in use. We should ban fireworks, and educate the public about the importance of disposing of cigarette butts thoughtfully. Properties must grade fire breaks around fence lines to remove the fuel source and stop the fire from spreading. More care needs to be taken when lighting fires, as a fire can spread rapidly when it is used as a land management tool to clear land for agricultural purposes.
During a bushfire emergency, we must help each other and relocate those affected to a safer place. Food packages can be prepared to assist those affected and to feed the firefighters on the frontline, putting their lives at risk to save the possessions of others. How would you feel if you lost your home, clothing, and precious keepsakes? You virtually have to restart your entire life all over again.
It is crucial that you are aware of what starts a fire, feeds a fire, and how it affects us socially, economically, and environmentally. Use the information that I have provided you with today and be mindful when undertaking indoor and outdoor activities that use a heat source that has the capability of becoming a catastrophic fire. Bushfires are deadly and can impact lives, homes, and properties within a matter of seconds. Think before you act! We can work together to help those who have been impacted, rebuild their memories and possessions. Be proactive and remove the fire source before it impacts you.