Brushfires wreak havoc across Australia


It may be hard to visualize the scope of the brushfires. This graphic shows the size of the fires over a map of the United States.

Australia Bushfires
All across Australia bushfires are breaking out. Over a hundred different fires are destroying the environment, homes, habitats and entire towns. Many species are feared to be extinct and even more may be endangered. As of writing this the estimated cost of damage is around 3 to 4 billion dollars. Around 45 million acres of land have been burned since the fires started and over 6,500 homes have been destroyed. Around 30 people have died to the bushfires, most of which were firefighters.

It’s been reported that around a billion animals have died as a result of the fires. Anywhere between 600,000 and 700,000 species found nowhere else in the world live in Australia, many of which may no longer be around. Most animals in Australia have adapted to fires but the scale of these fires has been too much even for the most versatile animals.

Fire season in Australia usually runs from January and ends sometime in March, however, Australia’s fire season was made much worse this year due to drought and potential arson. Climate change has also had a huge part in the spread of the fires. “This would have happened naturally, but we can be confident that they have been made hotter because of man-made climate change,” said Professor Richard Betts from the Hadley Centre, a climate prediction center from the UK.

Though the Firefighters and volunteers have been doing the best they can, many Australian citizens are criticizing the prime minister for not doing enough to help supply citizens and volunteer groups. People living in rural parts of Australia have told the prime minister to his face that he’s not funding the RFS (Rural Fire Service) enough. Many small rural communities are being affected by the fires with almost no help.

Many people have had no choice but to retreat on to beaches to stay safe. The military have been rescuing people from beaches and areas surrounded by fire. Firefighters and volunteers have been hard at work trying to contain the fires and keep people safe.

These fires are still raging on and no one is sure when they’ll stop. Other countries have volunteered to help with the effort by supplying volunteers and supplies. Natural rainfall is also helping combat the fires but can also cause it’s own problems. Already burnt communities are now flooded making it harder to get out. The bushfires will go on for the foreseeable future and the effort to save people and wildlife continues.