Lightning, arson, arcing from power lines are all possible causes of bushfires. Hot temperatures and other weather conditions then makes the fires spread until they either run out of material to burn, it rains or fire crews get involved. So far billions of animals have died, thousands of firefighters have been tackling the deadly flames – every state of Australia has been impacted by the bushfires. More than a third of NSW’s Koala population may have been wiped out, in one state alone. If you’d like to donate to the Australian Red Cross you can do so by clicking here.
But why have the fires been so bad?
In Australia, there’s loads of Eucalyptus trees. Koala’s pretty much only feed off of them – and only drink water when they’re either desperate or ill. Eucalyptus trees contain large quantities of oil – burning lots of oil gives the fire the energy it needs to get bigger and continue in its destructive path.
It can also be difficult to compute how homes can be lost, even if they’re not surrounded by trees. Across Australia, gas leaks have given the fires a new lease of life. Wind can spread the embers of the fires – those embers get stuck in places like guttering they ignite causing fire damage to properties.
Is climate change really to blame?
In the case of this summer’s fires – social media has allowed for an unprecedented campaign of disinformation. There has been rumours of some organisations digitally manipulating photos, stating it’s been caused by arson before there’s been any proper investigations and so much more. Whatever the cause, it’s clear climate change has turned a fire into a furnace, a furnace into an inferno. This shouldn’t be used to further political agendas. A government official interviewed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain was sadly prime example of using a platform to further an anti-climate political agenda. Whatever the cause, this shouldn’t be used to further political agendas. You can listen to the full interview on this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFvTrdOqdXo.
Of course anyone who has started a fire needs to be bought to justice. Climate change means the summers are now hotter than ever before. High temperature and high winds are all more prevalent during the summer – and even more so due to climate change.
So in the short term, there’s countless ways you can help Australia. Whether that’s donating to one of the organisations involved in the recovery, lending space or supplies to a family in need or maybe just sharing a donation link. The a significant proportion of the Australian summer still ahead they’ll need every bit of your help to come through this crisis.