Australian Bushfires Rage On

Helen McKnight

Recently in the news, there have been huge fires burning in Australia. January and February are the extremely hot months in Australia which is why the fires are particularly bad. However, although the people of Australia are used to some wildfires during the summer season, this year the fires are much worse than normal. The country has been drier and hotter than usual because of climate change and rising temperatures. The fires are mainly prevalent in the county of New South Wales. Thick clouds of smoke have covered the cities like Melbourne and Sydney. the smoke clouds were so large and bad in Sydney that air quality measured eleven times the “hazardous” level. Bence Szabados ‘20 remarked, “I can’t imagine smoke that bad, I have asthma and that would be awful for me.” 

Most of the many fires that have broken out were caused by nature effects like lightning in dry areas. Some fires, however, were caused by people lighting off firecrackers or leaving campfires unattended. There have also been a handful of people arrested for starting wildfires. 7.9 million acres have been burned across Australia’s six states, 28 people have died and 500 million animals have been displaced or killed. Maddy Byun ‘20 said, “It’s so sad what’s happening in Australia. We really need to protect the environment.” Another student, Chloe Kim ‘21 said, “Even though it’s a terrible tragedy, I think it’s nice to see so many people wanting to take action to try and stop the fires from getting worse.” If you want to donate to help the fires, go to World Wildlife Fund