Photo Source: The New York Times
Australian wildfires have become a national crisis at this point. The fires started around June of 2019 and they have just gotten even more intense. The reason behind these fires is the skyrocketing temperatures and the major droughts. The lives of many are being affected tremendously. Unfortunately, more than 27.2 million acres of Australia have burned entirely.
Lives and homes are being destroyed because of these fires. Although many of the fires have been put out, there are still several going on, especially in New South Wales and Victoria. According to BBC News, “In the worst-hit state, New South Wales (NSW), the fire has affected more than five million hectares, destroying more than 2,000 houses and forcing thousands to seek shelter elsewhere.” The fires are burning down the homes of the people in Australia and making them homeless.
People have been dying since this crisis began. According to NBC, there have been about seven deaths in New South Wales. Two of the people were found dead in their cars, a man and his son were found dead after defending their homes from the fire, and a firefighter lost his life because the wind flipped the fire engine and killed him.
Not only are these fires affecting families, but they affect the animals of Australia as well. Animals like koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and hundreds of other animals have been killed in these fires. According to USA Today, “The World Wildlife Fund in Australia estimates that as many as 1.25 billion animals have been killed directly or indirectly from the fires that have scorched Australia.” Koalas had the largest amount of deaths in Australia fires, about 30% of the koala population had perished. Many of the animals of Australia are on the brink of extinction.
Celebrities such as Elton John, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Hemsworth, and Pink have donated or helped raise money to help with the crisis. Leonardo DiCaprio donated $3 million for wildlife relief. Chris Hemsworth and Elton John both donated $1 million to relief forts. Athletes Serena Williams and Roger Federer played in a charity match to raise money for the Australian bush fire disaster.
By Ashley Farias (Editorials Editor)