AUSTRALIA FIRE

The fires that destroyed Australia

Guin Rogers, Special Section Editor

Ever since September, Australians have had bushfires rage incessantly all over their country, and have not been without heartbreak. In just these few months, the fire has claimed the lives of 24 people, 480 million wildlife animals, and over 15.6 million acres of land. Though it may not look like it on a map, Australia is almost the same size as the United States. Can you imagine that much fire in our country?

In the world’s heartache for Australia, the question “Why?” has been asked many times. Why is it now that there is so much fire in this innocent country? The cause of these bushfires is currently unknown, however, many experts are blaming the extreme drought and climate changes happening in Australia and around the world. The unusual weather patterns in Antarctica may also play a part in this; the continent’s weather has been bringing hot, dry winds into Australia, and been causing lightning in the area. This combination of lightning and dryness with so little rain has been a major factor in these fires, as well as the natural plant life, like Eucalyptus trees, which are very quick to burn. With all these factors coming into play at the same time, fire is inevitable. Rain has now doused one-third of the fires, miraculously, but there is still much damage in the areas. In many areas, there was very little visibility and breathable air, and it was causing tension and stress to many in the country because of the unpredictability of the path of the fires. Many firefighters were deployed from the United States and Canada, as well as other countries donating money to help with the damage, though it is not certain whether this will be enough. International donations can be made through the Australian Red Cross and many other organizations online. Even a little can make a big difference.