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Wildfires 2014: Inside the Inferno

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Series 1-Episode 1

Series 1-Episode 1

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Every year between October and March, bush fires sweep through New South Wales and an army of fire-fighters, spotters, helicopter pilots and volunteers work to get them under control. Kate Humble and Simon Reeve join them, looking into the latest science behind wildfires and putting them out.

As it happens, 2013-14 was an especially bad season. You get a sense of the daunting scale of the problem when the narration refers in passing to “a fire twice the size of Birmingham that has been slowly burning for a month”.

Kate and Simon test the limits of our fascination by exploring every detail of what should be a dramatic story and the role played in it by social media, look-out towers and something exciting called a Pyrotron.


At the height of the worst wildfire season in a decade, Kate Humble and Simon Reeve travel to Australia to discover how the 70,000 volunteers in the New South Wales Rural Fire Service contend with as many as 100 incidents a day. In this first of two programmes, Simon and Kate explore why wildfires in Australia are so frequent and hard to control, and learn about the surprising secrets of fire behaviour with leading scientists working to help those on the frontline.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Kate Humble
Presenter Simon Reeve
Executive Producer Edwina Silver
Series Producer Lucy van Beek

Education Nature

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