Fires have become hotter and more intense as we have allowed fuel levels in our bushland areas to grow and grow. 

This section of our website explains the Fire Science.

Fuel Loads & Fire Intensity

Basic fire science dictates:

·        Fuel load increases by 2 tonnes per hectare per annum. The fire intensity grows exponentially

·        After 10 years the unmanaged fuel load will be 20 tonnes per hectare and will have a fire intensity of 4,000 kW/m2•Each kW is the same as a 1 bar fire

·        2,000kW/m2 is the maximum that can be tackled by fire brigade tanker

 Some recent fires have registered an intensity of 100,000 kW.

Fires run on a combination of oxygen, heat & fuel. We cannot control the heat, nor the oxygen. The only factor we can control is the fuel. When we reduce the fuel, we reduce the fire

Kurrajong Heights Environment

We’re in a difficult environment to defend:

·        Surrounded by bush on 4 sides

·        Top of a mountain … for every 10 degrees of slope the fire doubles in speed and the intensity quadruples

For this reason Fire Prevention is essential to us all being able to live safely in our beautiful environment

Back Burning & Containment Lines to Stop Fires

The main technique used to arrest a large fire is a back burn from a containment line towards the fire front. This deprives the fire of fuel and stops it.

During the State Mine Fire and the Gospers Mountain Fire a containment line and back burn from Bilpin along Mountain Lagoon Road and then on to Colo Heights was successful in stopping the fire from that direction.

See more infomation on the Gospers Mountain Fire in our report to the Community.


Fires run on a combination of oxygen, heat & fuel. We cannot control the heat, nor the oxygen. The only factor we can control is the fuel. When we reduce the fuel, we reduce the fire
This photo by Lyn Ward was taken on December 21st from south of the village at Kurrajong looking up at the escarpment. A minute or so later the southerly came up and the fire passed to the West of Kurrajong Heights. Unfortunately 20 buildings in and around Bilpin were lost.When fires reach this intensity they cannot be stopped by a Brigade Tanker or by a Large Air Tanker