At the end of 2019, Austalia began to experience the worst wildfires seen in decades. The fires started in the Southeast of Australia and ravaged the entire country into 2020. While the southeast of Australia received the brunt of the damage, the fires affected every single state in the country.
Australians are not strangers to bushfires. Each year the country experiences fire season, where the dry heat and hot weather make it incredibly easy for fires to start. Most of the time, natural causes like lightning strikes or droughts are to blame. The remainder of the time, humans play a part in the fires. The New South Wales (NSW) police department charged an estimated 24 people for purposefully starting bushfires in 2019. An additional 183 people had legal action taken against them for fire-related offenses.
The fire season is always a severe danger to the Australian people. In 2019, the threat increased dramatically due to climate change and record-breaking droughts. Entire towns were engulfed by flame, over 1500 homes have been destroyed, and close to 1000 were damaged. Half a billion animals have been affected by the fires, many dying losing their homes and habitats. At least 34 people were killed in The Australian Wildfires.
Unfortunately, this may not be the last time something to this scale may happen in Australia, and countries with similar climates. Each year the fire-risk season gets more prolonged and more intense. The effects of climate change are causing irrevocable damages to the weather patterns and the environment of Australia.
In early February, record rains hit some of the major bushfire regions of the Australian fires and provided some significant relief. As relief efforts and change endeavors to continue, the question remains:
What do we do moving forward?
Australia has a few options moving forward to the end of the bushfires, and after:
As previously stated, thousands of Australian residents were affected by the bushfires. The Australian people are no strangers to nation-wide strife. They've experienced a Great Depression, the effects of both world wars, living without government welfare, among other national horrors, and still triumphed. The common denominator between all of those events and the bushfires is the goodness of people. Every day, people have risen and stepped forward to help and support the Australian people through this bushfire phenomenon. From opening their homes, to serving in shelters, to supporting smoke-affected athletes, the goodness of humanity has prevailed.
The kindness and sacrifice need to continue for Australia moving forward. Get involved with relief efforts and the restoration of the nation. You can get involved by
Give to The Australian Red Cross.
If you live in Australia, and are able to help, volunteer your time and resources to assist in shelters and relief centers.
Donate to GIVIT, an organization that matches donated items with requested items from people in need.
Support the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a Catholic organization with over 60,000 volunteers at their disposal.
Donate to the NSW Rural Fire Service, who are currently working in some of the most dangerous and heavily affected areas.
The Australian Bushfires are still affecting the country today. The environment, animals, and citizens are being changed forever. Moving forward starts with the individual. We will rise out of the ashes, together.
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