The Australian bushfires

The devastating fires that raged on for months

Gabrielle Read, Staff Writer

While the news of the Australian wildfires went viral around the holidays, the devastating fires had been occurring since the fire season began in July. Australia  received help from other countries, including the US, to help stop the fires, but it was an ongoing challenge for months. Records show the fires claimed the lives of at least twenty-eight people, while destroying thousands of homes. There is also evidence that more than one billion animals died as a result of the fires. Ongoing heat and drought worsened the condition of the fires, but experts also say climate change may be a factor (Yeung). 

There has been a fire in every Australian state, but some cities have been hit harder than others. Yeung says in Sydney the smoke was so bad that the air quality was deemed eleven times the hazardous level. Natural causes are to blame for the majority of cases. However, humans may also be to blame for the Australian wildfires. Yeung says, “NSW police have charged at least 24 people with deliberately starting bushfires, and have taken legal action against 183 people for fire-related offenses since November.” All in all, human actions and natural causes created fires that have devastated Australia, and the country may never be the same again. 

As of this week, the fires are seemingly under control. Forests and landscapes are capable of restoring on their own, however human intervention will be required because of the intensity of the fires. Planting trees is believed to be an effective way to regenerate land. In addition, “Reforestation efforts assist native vegetation in growing back, while also improving soil quality, preventing erosion, and controlling invasive species…” (Brzezinski, 2019). There has been little information released on the plans to help different habitats and species affected by the fires. 

 

Sources

Brzezinksi, Kaylee. “Australia Bushfires: Cause, Impact, and Restoration.” One Tree Planted, onetreeplanted.org/blogs/stories/australia-bushfires.

Yeung, Jessie. “What You Need to Know about Australia’s Deadly Wildfires.” CNN, Cable News Network, 14 Jan. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/australia/australia-fires-explainer-intl-hnk-scli/index.html.