Bush fires in Australia are actually quite common. Lightning, arson, and sparks from equipment are catalysts. Drought and high winds increase the severity, often creating huge fires due to perfect climactic conditions to easily spread. Over the past few years, koalas have made world news because they were devastated by the drought-induced fires. They were relying on people for water and safety, and many news teams showed pictures of koalas seeking refuge in yards.
It depends on which fires you are referring to. The Australia-wide fires of 2006-07 were caused by lightning strikes. If you are referring to the fires of February 7, 2009, in Victoria, Australia, then those fires were caused by a variety of causes. The cause of the worst fires in the was was faulty power lines, while other fires have been linked to arson and a lit cigarette.
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