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Bushfires in Australia are frequent events during the hotter months of the year (mostly summer), due to Australia's mostly hot, dry climate. Each year, such fires impact extensive areas. While they can cause property damage and loss of human life, certain native flora in Australia have evolved to rely on bushfires as a means of reproduction, and fire events are an interwoven and an essential part of the ecology of the continent. For thousands of years, Indigenous Australians have used fire to foster grasslands for hunting and to clear tracks through dense bush.
Major firestorms that result in severe loss of life are often named based on the day on which they occur, such as Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday. Some of the most intense, extensive and deadly bushfires commonly occur during droughts and heat waves, such as the 2009 Southern Australia heat wave, which precipitated the conditions during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in which 173 people lost their lives. Other major conflagrations include the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, the 2003 Eastern Victorian alpine bushfires and the December 2006 bushfires.
Victoria has seen the majority of the deadliest and largest bushfires in Australia, most notably the 2009 Black Saturday fires, where 173 people were killed, around 2,000 homes and structures were destroyed, towns were gutted, and some, such as Marysville, were destroyed.
Global warming is increasing the frequency and severity of bushfires and will lead to increased days of extreme fire danger.