Aim: To determine how types of vegetation and fallen verses living leaves affect the flammability of native vegetation.
* Heat proof mat (aluminium foil)
* Live oil and water based leaves
* Fallen oil and water based leaves
* Fire extinguisher
* Methylated spirits
1. Gather leaves
2. Lay out a 30cmX50cm piece of aluminium foil.
3. Spread out live oil based leaves in a line so that that each one is being overlapped by around 2cm. Take not of the way the leaves are spread as this will have to be repeated several times.
4. Pour 5ml of methylated spirits over the first leaf.
5. Light the first leaf.
6. Time how long it takes for the fire to spread to the last leave.
7. Repeat these steps several times for each type of leave so that there are at least three successful experiments for each type of leave.
Eucalyptus Oil based leaves
| Amount burnt | Time taken to burn | Comments |
Living | Very little | 20 second | The only reason the leaves lit up was due to the petrol being used on the first couple of leaves ones the petrol was burnt out, the fire stopped leaving most of the leaves an touched. |
Fallen | All of the leaves where burnt. | 1.05 Minutes | Fire was very large compared to the size of the leaves. |
Bottle Brush Water bashed leaves
| Amount Burnt | Time taken to burn | Comments |
Living | Very little | 19 Seconds | Fire was out after 19 seconds after the fuel burnt out. |
Fallen | little | 40 Seconds | The fire did start, lighting leaves on fire but did not spread to other leaves. |
The live eucalyptus leaves did not burn; this is most probably due to the water still in the living leaves. The dry eucalyptus leaves, however spread all the way this is because the water in the leaves had dried out and the eucalyptus oil was left, this eucalyptus oil flameable.
Bottle Brush Water based leaves
The live bottle brush leaves did not burn; this is most probably due to the water still being in the living leaves. The dry leaves did burn but the flames did not spread this is because they do not contain a flameable substance unlike the eucalyptus leaves.
Dry Oil based leaves play a large part in the spreading of bushfires, as the oil they contain is flameable.
Dry Eucalyptus leaves
Live Bottle Brush Water bashed leaves
Fallen Bottle Brush Water bashed leaves