Australia Is On Fire!

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New South Wales Rural Fire Service

Halle Goldsmith, Writer

Australia’s bushfires have been burning since June 2019, and are still burning today. 

In the past couple of months, these fires have ravaged Australia, killing animals and destroying ecosystems. These fires were caused by three things, 1.) the arid climate, 2.) arson, and 3.) lightning. The climate was the

Map of where the fires are in Australia

fuel that allowed for the fires to keep growing and spreading, this year has been the hottest and driest year in the past 120 years

Just in the Eastern Australian Rainforests, 11 million hectares have been burned down, which is over 27 million acres. These areas had almost never faced fire before unlike other parts of the country. There is a major concern for the future viability of these important rainforests. 

On top of the destruction of land and ecosystems, they are already threatened or endangered animals and plants caught in the fires. It is hard to know exactly how many animals had actually

died, but it’s estimated at about 480 million. Although, even if the animals survive the fire there is a real chance that they could die of starvation or dehydration. There have also been multiple human deaths and thousands of homes have been destroyed. 

On the bright side, torrential downpours in Australia have put out some of the fires. According to the New

South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS), thirty of the fires have been put out due to the rain. That leaves twenty-six total fires, and only four are uncontained. An uncontained fire is a fire that can still grow and expand. 

Fires in Australia

But what happens when the fires are all out? What does this mean for Australia? First, there is an overwhelming amount of smoke pollution. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory and cardiac issues, as well as hurting

the climate of the entire planet. A huge amount of smoke is being released from these fires and is spreading across the globe. Also, fire debris has infected freshwater sources, contaminating human drinking water and aquatic life. Shelters and food sources for animals have been ruined. These fires have left Australia with billions of dollars worth of damage.

What can you do to help? Donate to any of the following organizations: 

  1. World Wildlife Fund 
  2. Australian Red Cross 
  3. New South Wales Rural Fire Service