Australia in Flames

Australia in Flames

Brigid Reilly, Reporter

 Since late July of 2019, over 17 million acres of Australian land have been desolated by some of the worst wildfires that the nation has ever experienced. Killing 28 people and devastating entire towns, these fires have ravaged for months on end. It is currently estimated that close to a billion animals are been affected thus far, and the numbers are only growing. These are the strongest and most intense fires that Australia has seen in decades, and it does not appear that they will slow down anytime soon. 

With a warm, dry climate and persistent droughts, it is not entirely uncommon for Australia to experience large bushfires throughout their dry season. From April to September, the nation is arid and the occurrence of fires is quite typical. However, this past year was undoubtedly different than the rest, and many people believe that climate change is to blame. 

Record-breaking temperatures, vast amounts of heat lightning, and strong winds have led to bushfires of unimaginable magnitude in the past couple of months. In December, the highest nationwide average temperature was recorded, reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit in some places, and only promoting the growth of the fires. In addition, strong winds continue to sweep the nation, swiftly spreading the flames and ruining any chances of containing them. For months, the Australian government has been working to end this disaster. Only, the fires have continued to rapidly grow, providing poor air quality and emitting tremendous amounts of carbon. The inhabitants of Australia are in great danger 

Touching every state, these unrelenting bushfires have left thousands without homes. Beginning in July, Australia has worked to end the fires, finding little relief. Despite the constant attempts to eradicate these flames, the fires remain unwavering. Unfortunately,  Australia is only beginning to enter its summer season. The temperature is likely to continue increasing throughout January and February, further promoting the growth of the wildfires. 

With over thousands of their own firefighters continuously battling the natural disaster, Australia has begun looking to their own military as well as to other nations for assistance. Many firefighters from the United States, Canada, and even New Zealand, have traveled to Australia to aid the natives in terminating the bushfires. In addition, many organizations such as Salvation Army Australia and Australian Red Cross are accepting donations and providing relief throughout the country. Posts have been circulating through multiple social media platforms as celebrities and influencers spread awareness and attempt to raise money for the cause. Many individuals have come together, making an effort to save the diverse wildlife and frightened residents; however, the fight is far from over.