The burning of a country: Australian bush fires


Yasmin Vizguerra, Editor

  Since September 2019, over 136 fires have been burning across New South Wales, and only a portion of them all are being properly contained.

       Australia is currently in their summer months, the heat from the season only making the fires worse and having had no rain made it difficult to contain the fires.

      With the start of the new year, the fires have gained massive attention with social media outlets flooding with posts to donate and showing sympathy for those affected.

      25 deaths nationwide were reported, the majority of the deaths–18–are from NSW, which are being hit the hardest. The rest are from Victoria and South Australia.

      About 480 million Australian animals have died as a result of the fires, a third of the Koala population have been killed.

      In December, the smoke in Sydney made the air quality 11 times what is considered the “hazardous” level. 

      Over more than 14.7 million acres of land have been burnt across the country. That number is greater than Belgium and Haiti combined.

      “To think that the fires are now making the air quality 11 times worse than what is considered hazardous is sad because so many animals and people are suffering, their land burning to nothing,” said Giselle Munoz (‘20).

      The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morison revealed on Monday the $1.39 billion fund to rebuild the communities affected by the fires.

      PM Morison also delivered the news that the fires will burn for months to come.

      The fires have caused more issues as they’re now setting off bizarre weather patterns, including fire-driven thunderstorms that can start new wildfires with lightning, fire clouds, and ember attacks. Ember attacks are when the bushes being burned are blown by the wind in clusters.

       On Sunday, rain fell down on the east coast, giving relief to those affected by the fires. Meteorologists, however, said that temperatures would rise again by Thursday.

      Since the start of the harrowing fires, Australian natives went to social media to spread awareness their PM hadn’t done. PM Morison was and is under major scrutiny for not taking action quickly, possibly preventing further damage. 

      The smoke from the fires has also reached parts of South America, including Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, traveling more than 7,500 miles. 

      The smoke from the fires has also emitted 400 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

      “It’s so sad that Australia has been burning and won’t stop and now they need more help than ever,” said Citlalli Perez (‘20).

      Though there seems to be no end to the catastrophic fires, the police have now accused 24 people of deliberately setting the fires, according to a statement on Monday.

      Donations are now more needed than ever, the fires never-ending and millions of people suffering from the effects of the fires.