Given Australia’s extensive history with wildfires, the most recent developments are rather unsurprising.
In 2009, Australia suffered “Black Friday,” which killed over 173 people, making it the deadliest bushfire up to that point. However, extremely harsh conditions have caused Australia to experience its worst fires yet, which are currently obliterating its landscape.
Most of the fires have been due to natural causes. Due to its hot, dry summers and frequent lightning strikes, fires are very common and can travel rapidly. Plentiful greenery allows the flames to gain momentum once they start.
According to the state agency Victoria Emergency, lightning was responsible for starting numerous fires in Victoria’s East Gippsland region in late December; these fires traveled more than 12 miles in just five hours. It has also being reported that humans are to blame for the fires.
The New South Wales Police force has taken legal action against hundreds of people for fire-related offenses. The fires are rolling across the entire Australian continent; there has been at least one fire in every Australian state and approximately 16 million acres have been engulfed in flames.
The flames and smoke are covering some of the most popular cities, including Sydney and Melbourne. Reportedly, at least 29 people have been killed due to fire related events and an estimated hundreds of millions of animals have died or have been harmed. Unfortunately, these fires show no signs of stopping any time soon due to the prevailing drought in Australia.
Those who would like to help the Australian people and their country can donate to the County Fire Authority in Victoria and also to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. Money sent to these organizations will help the local Australian fire fighting services. Most of the firefighters are unpaid volunteers and the money donated will aid first responders and their families.
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