Australia Fires Burn On


Guna Bhegalam

Many wildlife such as kangaroos are being affected by these fires and their habitats are being taken from them.

The fires in Australia have been raging on since the bushfire season began in July, and they are the worst they have been in a very long time. Citizens have been forced to leave their homes.  Even with the fire-fighting assistance from the United States, the fires show no sign of stopping. 


Sarah Kreh, a sophomore at Oakdale High School, says, “I know the fires are burning and it’s all over Australia, and it’s doing a lot of damage.”


The most structural damage has occurred in New South Wales, which is the most populated area. A total of 5.9 million hectares of land has been destroyed. This affects humans and animals alike.


Amelia Rampersad, another sophomore in Oakdale High School, is aware of the pertinence of the fires. “They’re putting an abundance of wildlife in danger and have destroyed over 1,000 homes,” Rampersad shares. 


Australia has a fire season each year during their summer, which is from December to February. This sparks a major concern in citizens because they are only in the middle of their summer. With the weather being extra hot and dry, it makes fires much easier to spark and spread. Due to this, the firefighting becomes extra difficult as well. 


Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons shares with Time Magazine that this is the worst fire season, and Australia needs significant amounts of rainfall in order to help the fires die down, the forecast shows nothing that will help them.


Climate change is believed to be a part of it because of how it creates extreme weather conditions. With this being said, their prime minister does not believe that their greenhouse gas emissions have anything to do with the severity of the fires. 


“I want to blame climate change but I don’t know what for,” Rampersad explains. Part of the problem is that some people are just not informed on how climate change does really affect the fires.


A climate scientist shares that if the government does not see that climate change is really affecting Australia, then they will not be able to substantially battle the problem. Their government has not been taking the leadership responsibilities that the people want them to. 


Natural causes can also start the fire, such as lightning strikes. But, humans can also be to blame. A teenage volunteer was arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fires. Strong winds can also make sparked fires spread much quicker and be much more fatal.


Although, military assistance is being provided to aid in fighting the fires, the numbers of military personnel deployed for assistance are so large that they match up to those of World War 2. Air crafts and naval ships are being used to aid in the evacuation of the citizens. Volunteer firefighters are also helping combat the fires. 


As for when the fires will stop, there is no sign of a determined stop. With it still being mid-summer and the fires occurring annually, they may even be getting worse. 


As a bystander, Rampersad shares that she does feel a responsibility to help. “The world shouldn’t turn a blind eye to a burning country,” Rampersad states. 


Some don’t actually know how to donate, which can be part of the reason why some stand by and don’t do anything. Kreh explains, “I do feel somewhat of a responsibility but I don’t know how to help.”


To help Australia, there are many spots to donate. This tweet shares many links where people all around can donate. If donating is not possible, share the links and spread the word.