In recent news, fires have been ripping through southeast coast of Australia. The affected areas include New South Wales (NSW), Queensland, Tasmania, and South Australia. Along with that, smoke has spread to many of the surrounding cities and towns. Sydney, one of Australia’s highly populated urban areas, has air quality that was measured 11 times the “hazardous’’level. These events can be credited to dry lightning and human started bush fires.
Over 17.9 million acres have burned throughout the affected area, the most damage being in NSW which had 12.1 million acres burned and 13,000 homes lost. 28 people have died during this tragic season, among them being several brave volunteer firefighters.
Not only have people been affected but about half a billion animals have been killed. These fires have ravaged and destroyed countless habitats. Many of the larger and flying species were able to make the getaway, leaving the more forest reliant ones behind. These include koalas and reptiles, reptiles taking up three-quarters of the estimated death toll.
Many groups and people worldwide have come together to find ways to provide support and to make contributions. Celebrities like Pink, Elton John, and Chris Hemsworth have made major donations to go towards the affected communities. Not only money, but food and other household goods have been donated to the ones that have lost everything.
On a lighter note, as of January 16, constant rainfall has started to pelt some of suffering regions. This gives a big helping hand to the firefighters who have been fighting against these history making flames. However, there are still many fires remaining, leaving more work to be done.