Australia is Turning into Ashes


The Australian fires burning the trees (Flickr)

Molly Grosswald, Staff Writer

More than 15.6 million acres of Australia have been burned, taking the lives of over one billion animals and at least 25 humans. Despite the continuous efforts, the deadly bushfires are yet to be extinguished. It is currently summer in Australia, their hottest and driest season. The blazing sun and the Indian Ocean Dipole give Australia cooler waters and less rain. Those are two major contributors to the incessant fires. The little precipitation is causing millions of acres of Australia to become ablaze. The fires are not only detrimental to Australia’s wildlife and residents, but potentially to the rest of the world.

Every state and territory in Australia has been affected by the fires. Australia is familiar with bushfires, but this year, the fires are like no other. On December 18, 2019, Australia hit a new temperature record of 41 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit). The main causes for this continual spread of fire are wind and hot temperatures. The fires began in September 2019 and have been growing ever since. The fires are said to have been started by humans. The climate is changing in Australia, therefore making the hot and dry summer season longer. This only makes the land more susceptible to catching fire and allows the fires to persist. 

Action is being taken to prevent the extinction of the koala bear, a beloved native Australian animal, along with many other species. Thousands of koalas have died, but thankfully many people have risked their lives to save koalas and many more other animals. 

All over social media, there are posts pertaining to the bushfires in Australia. Irene Sharon, a freshman at The Weber School, believes that the posts on social media help raise awareness. However, the best way to help Australia is to find a trustworthy organization to donate money to. There are many different organizations that people can donate to that will contribute to the fires in Australia and the damage they have done to the country. Donating just ten dollars will help to make a difference. Ms. Goodwin, an avid tennis fan, shares, “A number of the athletes are donating their winnings from the pre-tournaments of the Australian Open,” to help aid the fires in Australia. People should donate to this cause because the entire country is being affected and donating would be extremely beneficial. 

The fires are not only affecting the lives of animals and destroying people’s homes, but they are also putting a block in Australia’s economy. Tourism, a major source of country’s income, is decreasing because of the conditions the fires have brought to Australia. Smoke is blowing across the continent and to places beyond the Australian borders. Scientists at NASA say, “Smoke from fires in Australia is expected to make at least one ‘full circuit’ around the globe and return to the skies over the country.” The smoke is making its way into the major tourist cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne. Ms. Goodwin says, “These [fires] are going to be extremely expensive and will have a huge affect on the economy.” The cost for the damage to Australia is billions of dollars. She also shared that the nature reserves are a popular tourist spot, “and they have lost a lot of their wildlife. Not just the animals, but also the flora.” 

Australia has recently received rain, which put out some of the fires. However, they are not fully extinguished by any means. The rain merely brought some relief to the country and its inhabitants. The fires are still burning the land and killing the wildlife. Australia will continue to need help to rehabilitate the land, provide a home for their animals, and much more. Everyone should do their part to help Australia, whether that is donating or raising awareness to help prevent further destruction to the Earth.