Land Burns in Australia

Bushfires also spell disaster for a number of species

Brian Stearns, a Huron-Manistee National Forests employee, is pictured with a kangaroo joey who approached firefighters in the field seeking refuge from the Australian wildfires. The U.S. Forest Service fire crews are continuing to mobilize to assist during the Australian Bushfires Disaster.
Date: 8 January 2020

U.S. Forest Service, Huron-Manistee National Forests, Public Domain

Brian Stearns, a Huron-Manistee National Forests employee, is pictured with a kangaroo joey who approached firefighters in the field seeking refuge from the Australian wildfires. The U.S. Forest Service fire crews are continuing to mobilize to assist during the Australian Bushfires Disaster. Date: 8 January 2020

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As more land burns in Australia, more suffering is inflicted onto the cities, animals, habitats, and families living there. For the past few weeks, the Australian bush fires have been receiving more media coverage as the desperate situation increases.

As of last Monday, Jan. 6, the fires claimed the lives of  25 people.  But the fires are not only a devastating tragedy for the people, as many animals are also being affected.

On Jan. 9, the Washington Post reported on the Australian wildfires. The report said that “some of the rarest species of Earth are threatened by fires scorching their habitats, scientists warn.”

A professor at the University of Sydney, Chris Dickman, was interviewed by NPR. On Jan. 8, Dickman stated that “more than one billion animals” have perished in the bushfires. That is horrifying, especially considering how many endangered animals are included in that count.

Many are attributing the natural disaster to climate change, which is causing more intense fires and droughts. Dickman said that, “What we’re seeing are the effects of climate change.”

The Australian bushfires is going to be disastrous for a lot of species, according to scientists. “It’s events like this that may well hasten the extinction process for a range of other species,” Dickman said.

CNN

A lot of news is showing images of burned animals like the koala bears. Back on Dec. 27, 2019, the federal Minister of the Environment in Australia, Sussan Ley, was reported as saying in a CNN article that “almost a third of koalas in Australia’s New South Wales region may have been killed in deadly bushfires, which have been burning out of control.” Even more have been injured from the blazes since then.

To put the event into perspective, more than 12 million acres have burned, including rural areas, cities and farms. The entire state of Massachusetts is nearly five million acres, so the affected Australian land is a little over twice the size of the state.

This is a heartbreaking tragedy causing pain to many.”

— Amaya Turner

This is a heartbreaking tragedy causing pain to many. Some have even gone as far as to protest, claiming the Australian government is not doing enough to help. In this desperate situation, so many people have lost homes, animals have been badly injured, and buildings destroyed. But many have scrambled to help.

News reports show people in Australia banding together in an amazing show of community. Some people are volunteering as firefighters, delivering clean water and food, and opening up both their homes and arms to those that have evacuated or lost their homes.

If you would like to help, consider looking at some of the following organizations. Every dollar will help someone.

How to Help Victims of Australia’s Bushfire:

  • Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
    • A hospital dedicated to helping the koalas burned by the fires are accepting donations here.
  • Australian Red Cross
    • The Australian Red Cross is accepting donations for its Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund to help people who evacuated and are in rescue centers. They are also accepting goods and even offering volunteer roles.
  • New South Wales Rural Fire Service
    • The organization has set up a fund to help the families of volunteer firefighters who were killed on duty this season, many of whom had left behind young children.
  • Salvation Army Australia
    • The Salvation Army is supplying meals, first responders, and support to people affected by the bushfires.
  • Givit
    • Givit is an amazing nonprofit group that accepts donations and items. Their site has a list of needed items if interested.
  • WIRES
    • A nonprofit organization who are currently caring for thousands of burned and orphaned animals.