Fires Killing More than Trees: Australian Wildfires

Fallon Carney, Staff Editor

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Over 3,000 homes destroyed. At least 28 people dead. Already 15.6 million acres burned. Four months in with the air quality being 11 times the hazardous level, Australia is being burned to ash. Killing more than the trees, animals are fighting for survival. Every state and territory in Australia has experienced a fire this season. Every year the fire season during the Australian summer brings hot and dry weather, making it easier for blazes to spark and spread.

Dry lightning was responsible for starting a number of fires in Victoria’s East Gippsland region in late December. These fires then traveled more than 12.4 miles in just five hours. The biggest fires burn along stretches of the eastern and southern coast. The majority of Australia’s population lives along these coastlines.

Most of the time, natural causes are to blame for these flames, but humans can be to blame as well. New South Wales Police Force (NSW police) has charged at least 24 people for deliberately starting bushfires, and have taken legal action against 183 people for fire-related offenses.

Annabelle Barnstable (11) stated, “There are many species that are only native to Australia so we need to help protect them from going instinct.” Barnstable was asked if she thought we should be concerned for Australia. Her response was, “Yes, not only for the animals but for the people living near affected areas. The wildlife and the environment in Australia are in danger.” Barnstable believes the fires are extremely tragic. 

Although there is not much we can do here in the United States, we can help by donating to different organizations to support Australia. One organization to donate to is the Australian Red Cross. The Australian Red Cross is similar to the The American Red Cross that we have here in America. Both Red Cross organizations work to help those in need during tragic and unpredictable times. 

Trevor Stewart (11) and Madilynn Walker (12) were both asked if they could do something to help Australia, what would it be, and why. Stewart’s response was to “provide a safe shelter for the people of Australia, a place where they could maintain everyday hygiene and physical needs.” Walker said she would “send funds or raise money to replant the life taken by the fires.”  

Not only is all the landscape up in flames, millions of animals are trapped inside these deadly flames. Some 25,000 koalas, trapped on the island, lay dead in the flames. Ten thousand feral camels are expected to be shot and killed before the flames consume them too. Already one billion animals have perished across Australia, and the number continues to climb each day.

These wildfires have already burned 41,300 square miles of the continent. This is just slightly bigger than the state of Kentucky. If we do not do anything, these wildfires will continue to burn and soon enough, Australia will be gone. Everything counts. Even the smallest donation will help to save an endangered animal or human. Do your part today and find a way to help Australia through this tragic time.