WA gets plenty hot and dry in the summer (especially Exmouth and points south where Top End moisture isn't as prevalent), but I don't hear so much about catastrophic forest fires hitting WA, like I do about those that hit SA, VIC/TAS, NSW/ACT/SE QLD year in and year (it's events in these states that most often make international news), with the odd exception like the Perth bushfires of November 2011. Is there a meteorological or geological reason that the WA wildfire season can be forgotten as compared to wildfires in the eastern states of Australia?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I suggest that it's more about the number of people affected by the fires than anything to do with Earth Science. Same reason fires in Santa Barbara & Napa (California) get more attention than bigger ones in the Sierra Nevada. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jul 6 '18 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ I agree - there are a lot of news stories about fires near Perth or other populated areas $\endgroup$
    – haresfur
    Jul 6 '18 at 5:57
  • $\begingroup$ To the people voting to close: IMO this question is undoubtedly on topic. It asks "Is there a meteorological or geological reason that...". That the answer is "no", and that a longer answer is about off-topic reasons, does not make the question itself a bad one. $\endgroup$ Jul 9 '18 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ @SemidiurnalSimon: Maybe if you add an "interaction-of-politics-and-earth-science" tag :P $\endgroup$
    – naught101
    Feb 12 '20 at 1:33

Forest fires, and natural disasters in general, get attention when they affect people.

Bush fires outside of metropolitan Perth or far away from populated areas do not affect many people. Therefore, media attention is diverted elsewhere. This is not unique to WA: you have the same in NT, northern SA, and the west of eastern states.

This is also not unique to bush fires. Volcanoes only get media attention when they affect people: recent examples are Fuego in Guatemala or Kilauea in Hawaii. The other 50 or so active volcanoes in 2018 get close to zero media attention, because they do not affect anyone (or at least, they do not affect people that the Western media cares about).


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