The Bushfires in Australia


Wildfires spread across Australia.

Australia is on fire and has been since September. According to CNN, back in January the Australian bush fires was one of the worst wildfires in years, burning about 17.9 million acres of the country. These fires have damaged many homes and about half a billion animals have been affected.

Australia is currently in a drought, which perpetuates the fires. Some of the fires have been caused by lightning or by human activity. Wind can also cause the fires to spread easily. A main factor that has caused these fires is climate change. According to CNN, there was a heat wave with temperatures over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the temperature going up, this can cause many fires due to lack of precipitation and the land being dry. Mary Riddle, Director of Environmental Education and Sustainability, says, “What the conditions caused by climate change do is that it creates a set of conditions that makes disasters like the Australian wild fires easy to happen.” Australia has a very hot and dry season, which also helps fires spread. Riddle explains, “When you have hot and dry seasons over and over again, and those hot and dry seasons are caused by climate change, it creates the environment for things like these disasters.” The worse climate change gets, the worse the fires will be.

Many homes in Australia have been destroyed in urban cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. Whole towns were in flames, and fires killed one third of the koalas. NPR goes into detail about how while this is partially due to climate change, it is also making climate change worse. With fires comes smoke, which contain greenhouse gases that warm the planet.

While forest fires aren’t always bad, these fires are because they are uncontrolled. Preventing forest fires can also make them worse sometimes. Lots of countries are sending fire fighters to help put out the fires. They have been spraying water and fire retardant out of planes. However, BBC says that before they can stop the fires completely, they must focus on keeping the fires from spreading. The Red Cross has stepped in to give people aid and welcoming families into recovery and evacuation centers. Many volunteers and fire fighters are working especially hard to stop these fires as soon as possible. If you would like to help, there are plenty of sites online that will accept donations.