BUSHFIRES TO BLAME

Australian Flames Endanger Lives of Many

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BUSHFIRES TO BLAME

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Riley Austin, Staff Writer

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Australia has been in the face of a continuous tragedy since September 2019. Millions of acres of land have been burned, and thousands of volunteer firefighters are trying to combat the blaze to stop the worry of more land being destroyed by the flames. Australians are faced with an even greater danger of trying to be safe. Animals are also faced with great danger because the fires are destroying their habitats and their lives. About 480 million animals have already died. People are also worried because fire season in Australia has just begun.

Until recently, Australia’s inferno had not been discussed in the news. Twitter recently brought to the public’s attention on how bad this fire has become. The fact that has caught most people’s attention, is the loss of more than 14.7 million acres of land. Besides just being an information outlet, the people of Twitter have began raising money for different organizations to try and aid the people of Australia and the firefighters. These organizations consist of Vets Beyond Borders, the World Wildlife Fund, the Australian Red Cross, and many

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others. Many celebrities have also taken apart in this such as Pink, Rebel Wilson, and Keith Urban. People are also “adopting” animals by paying different amounts of money towards orgaization. This money helps these organizations to continue to help the animals. Others have donated time in trying to help these different organizations. 

Approximately 2,700 volunteer firefighters have been battling the blazes. Three of these volunteers have died as of Sunday January 5. There are also others working to stop this fire. Australia’s Defense Force, one of the military organizations for Australia, has been sent in as well as a combined number of 3,000 people with special abilities to fight fires. They are all in danger due to the  massive fires. Climate specialist, Sarah Perkins stated that, “there are places where flames have been 70 meters [230ft] high, and there’s evidence in some places that temperatures of the fires have been 1,000 degrees.”

Every year Australia has a bushfire season in the summertime, when it is most dry and hot. This year though, has skyrocketed the amount of fires that have occurred based on previous years. This could be because many people have been caught starting fires. Just in NSW (New South Wales) at least 24 people have been charged with deliberately setting fires by throwing lit cigarettes and matches into dry areas. Another 53 people are being charged after not complying with the state’s fire ban. NSW is the state that has been hit the hardest by the fires. 

Approximately one third of the koalas in NSW may have died due to their habitat being destroyed. In NSW, 1,300 homes have been destroyed so far and 8.9 million acres of land has been destroyed. In NSW, there are 69 uncontained fires and even more in the rest of Australia.

The fires are not the only thing to worry about though. In December of 2019, the smoke in Sydney, Australia, caused harm to the residents there. The smoke also made the air quality eleven times the level considered hazardous. This caused residents to have lung issues such as a collasped lung. This damage has been so dangerous because it causes other problems to other major organs like the heart. Some people have had to have chest drains to try and alleviate some of the issues.  Ember attacks are another element that causes concern. This means that embers from burning bushes or trees get swept up by the wind and may start fires elsewhere. 

Everyone around the world is still coming together to aid Australia, hoping from afar that the fires will soon die and that the effects are not detrimental.