Australian Wildfires

Jason Pesigan, Sophomore

The start of 2020 has not been good for many people who live in Australia. Dangerous wildfires have set the country ablaze in furious flames. Generally, the wildfires would be considered normal since it is fire season in Australia, but the situation has gotten out of hand.

These Australian wildfires started back in June 2019, but are now going into 2020. Most wildfires are caused by hot, dry climates. Due to the extreme heat and low-moisture levels, it has made it easier for wildfires to start. Strong winds also play a big role as it is the reason the fires expand and spread.

Australia has been going through a severe drought and due to this, the fires have been getting out of control. These fires are thought to be natural caused by lightning or other means, but some are also thought to be purposely started.

 Most of the Eastern Coast of Australia has been affected by the wildfires accompanied by dangerous air quality that also affects the state of New South Wales, where over 3,000 homes have been destroyed. 

Important cities in Australia such as Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra have also been affected with bad air quality. The air pollution has also forced the postponement of matches of the Australian Open, a Tennis Tournament taking place in Melbourne. 

Denis Shapovalov, a player participating in the Open stated his concern with the air quality: “You get warnings from the news telling people to stay inside, that it’s not good for your health to be outside, to be breathing this stuff, and then you get an email from the tournament saying that it’s playable and you guys have to go out there and put your life in jeopardy, put your health in jeopardy.”

Many criticize the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, who actually went on a vacation to Hawaii while Australia was burning. While being criticized and critiqued, Morrison stated: “There are things that I could have handled on the ground much better.”

So far, wildfires have caused severe and detrimental damage to Australia. Over 24.7 million acres of land has burned, 30 people have been killed (which consists of 4 fire fighters) and over 1 billion animals are estimated to have died.