Australia Heats Up



A kangaroo rushes past a burning house in Lake Conjola, Australia.

Caroline Kerns, Staff Writer

Fires continue to burn through Australia this year and according to NPR the death toll is up to 25 people this season alone. Australia  is prone to heavy fires. Nearly half a billion animals have been affected by the fires that began in 2019 in New South Wales and millions of them are potentially dead and have not been found, according to ecologists at the University of Sydney.  The animals  most drastically affected by the fires are birds, reptiles, and mammals. 

 When asked about the Australian fires, seventh grader Samantha Sumner commented, “Australian wildfires are devastating the animal’s habitats.”

Some of the fires are man-made. According to the New South Wales Police, they have arrested at least 24 people for intentionally starting wildfires in the state of New South Wales.  According to CNN, the police have investigated 183 people (40 of them are under 18) for fire-related offenses since November, 2019.

 When asked how she thought we could help with the ongoing issue, seventh grader Sydney Chang stated, “Help in any way big or small.”

Almost 18 million acres of land have been burned this season and most of this land consists of forests and national parks, which are home to the country’s native wildlife. The fires became so dangerous that the skies turned red and orange. The worst air quality was in Sydney, Australia. “Breathing was as bad as smoking,” explained a CNN reporter.

Many celebrities have donated money to help stop the Australian fires, such as Chris Hemsworth, who donated one million dollars. Other celebrities who have donated are Elton John ($1,000,000), Dacre Montgomery ($250,000) and Kylie Jenner ($1,000,000). 

Altogether, the fires in Australia are still burning, but they are starting to subside. Australia is doing their best to try and stop them. As Kevin Rudd, the former Prime Minister of Australia, once stated, “For Australians, climate change is no longer a distant threat. Our rivers are dying, bush fires are more ferocious and more frequent and our natural wonders- the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu, our rain forests- are now at risk.” Hopefully, these drastic effects can be minimized before further damage is done.