The Australian Bushfires

Juliette Gurung, Writer and Editor

With over 10.7 million hectares of land burned and 1.25 billion animals dead, the Australian wildfires have gained international attention. The catastrophic fires can be found in each state, ravaging through national parks and wildlife reservations. Even major cities like Melbourne and Sydney have started to feel the effects as blankets of smoke begin to envelop the urban centers. In fact, the air quality in Sydney was measured to be 11 times the “hazardous” level, putting surrounding residents at risk.


Horrific images of burnt animals and black soot have dominated all social media platforms. Nobody can escape from the graphic videos of wailing koalas and burned kangaroos. The look of helplessness in these animals’ faces as the fires rage behind them are enough to send anyone over the limit. Despite firefighter efforts, the bushfires have been extremely difficult to contain. Considering that most of the Australian firefighters are volunteers, we can see why the fires won’t die down. Firefighters from California have been sent to aid the Australians and countless celebrities have been donating millions of dollars to help put the flames down. Ecosystems and forests have been destroyed, animals have been killed and displaced, and now even the inner city is at risk. You can’t help but wonder: How did these catastrophic fires even begin?


Both nature and man are at fault. What, someone started this catastrophe on purpose? Exactly. The NSW (New South Wales) police have arrested 24 people for deliberately starting off these fires. In addition, legal action has also been taken against 183 people for offenses related to the wildfires. The naturally dry and arid conditions in Australia’s drought-affected forests provided as a perfect home for the fires to grow immensely. 


Billions of dollars have been poured into fighting these flames. The whole world is on edge, watching and waiting to see what’s next for Australia’s future. With the modern technology we have today, the fires can be stopped, it’s just a matter of how long it will take. Spread awareness and have hope. Although 99% of the slaughtered have been animals, it doesn’t mean that we as humans should stay insensitive. How long until we become victims too?