Australian Crisis

Recently, the news has been on a constant cycle to update people on what’s going on in Australia as most of the continent is on fire due to bushfires. Now, I personally live 9,918 miles from Australia and others may live further away. So, I found myself asking, ‘How do these fires concern me and the rest of the world’? After doing some research, here’s what I found out and how others can get involved.

The first part I wanted to know about was what these fires were and how they were caused. These fires are called bushfires, which is a wildfire that occurs in the forest, scrub, woodland, or grassland. Unfortunately, there is not a definite answer on how the fires were caused because there is no one specific incident that caused the outbreak. One of the biggest causes of the fires, though, was the climate condition that Australia was already facing. Prior to the bushfire outbreak, Australia was already suffering from its hottest and driest year on record. Other aspects that could have caused the rapid spread of the fires are lightning strikes and possibly arson. Speaking of rapid spread, a bushfire can cover 6.7 miles of forest and 13.6 miles of grassland in an hour. 

Next, I became curious about the fire’s impact on Australia and the rest of the world. Focusing specifically on Australia, one of the biggest impacts I found was the impact on Australian’s wildlife. More than one billion animals have been killed since the fires started. This includes Koalas, kangaroos, the black cockatoo, the hasting river mouse, and many more species. Twenty-eight people have also been killed in the fires and roughly two thousand homes have been destroyed. As I said earlier, I live almost ten thousand miles away from Australia, so going into this research, I didn’t really think that the bushfires had an impact on me personally. I was wrong. According to scientists at National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, the smoke emitted from the wildfires in Australia will circle at least one full track around the world. The spread of the smoke from Australia’s bushfires can cause various problems, but the biggest problem is the health implications. Smoke is toxic to the human body, and for younger children to be inhaling the smoke could cause lifelong lung conditions. 

After all this research, the last thing I wanted to know was how to donate and help Australia. One great organization to help the displaced people in Australia is GIVIT which pairs you with a person in need, http://www.givit.org.au/. You can also donate food, toiletries, and household items on GIVIT as well. If you don’t necessarily feel comfortable donating money, donate food. Food Bank asks people to donate non-perishable food for the displaced people in Australia, https://www.foodbank.org.au/hunger-in-australia/what-we-do/?state=nsw-act. For the firefighters who are continuously putting their lives in danger to put out the bushfires, you can donate directly to the Country Fire Services in South Australia, https://cfsfoundation.org.au/donate. For those who want to donate to the Australian Wildlife, the RSPCA New South Wales helps to evacuate and treat the animals impacted by the bushfires, https://www.rspcansw.org.au/bushfire-appeal/.