Ravaged by the world’s worst bushfire in decades, Australia is going through one of the worst climatic catastrophes in its history. The beautiful country has been covered with smoke and high flames ever since the seasonal bush fire started sometime during September 2019. With the country covered under a thick cloud of smoke and increasing temperature, it is getting difficult to control the blazes even with the help of fire-fighters from other countries including USA.
Here are 5 facts about the Australian Bush Fire that you should learn about and how the lives of millions of Australians are going to change once the fire is under control.
CAUSE OF THE FIRE
Bushfires are common in Australia, especially during the summer season when the climate is dry and hot. The fire is usually caused naturally due to lightening which spreads fast across the dry draught affected forests. Late in December, a dry lightning caused a fire in the East Gippsland in Victoria. The fire travelled 20 km in just 5 hours, causing a state of emergency in Victoria.
Additionally, NSW police also charged 24 people who deliberately started a bush fire to burn off the dry wastes. Legal action has already been taken against 183 people who made fire offenses in the state since November 2019.
ROLE OF CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Bushfires are a part of the Australian climate and weather cycle. The country already was experiencing the hottest and driest year in its entire history. In addition to it, the climate change in the country made the situation worse. The excessive heat and dry conditions caused due to the changing climatic conditions in the country triggered the bushfire. Over the past few years, draughts in the country have become worse, with the temperatures soaring higher each year. In fact last year’s summer recorded the highest temperature in the country’s history.
Until now, more than 7.3 million hectares of land (area larger than the combined size of countries Belgium and Denmark) has burned into ashes since the bushfire started last September. The huge blazes of the fire engulfed homes of several states, making thousands of people homeless. The biggest damage in the country was suffered by NSW where almost 1588 homes were destroyed and almost 650 homes damaged beyond repair. Almost 4.9 million hectares of land burned alone in NSW. Until
HUMAN AND ANIMAL DEATH TOLL
27 people have lost their lives in the fire, including a few fire fighters.
On the contrary, almost half a billion animals residing in the beautiful forests of Australia have been affected by the bushfire in NSW. It is estimated that almost around a million of small and large animals have died in the fire. However, the real total may be as high as a billion across the country. These animals include birds, mammals and reptiles. The number excludes bats, frogs and smaller insects.
One third of the koala bears residing in the deep forests of NSW are feared dead, with their natural habitat destroyed completely.
Australian federal authorities are working day and night fighting the situation for months now. Only on the grounds of NSW, more than 2000 fire fighters from across Australia and other countries such as Canada, New Zealand and USA are trying to ease the fire.
The Australian government has also put the military in action to help the fire fighters and people affected by the fire. Army personals, air force and navy cruisers are helping in evacuation, rescue, search and clean the affected areas.
The government also stated that $4,200 will be granted to every fire fighter who is battling the blazes in the affected areas for more than 10 days. Extra leaves, compensated pay and other measures will be granted to the volunteer fire fighters.