Australia is going through a torrid time as it is being plagued by some of the worst wildfires ever seen. Significant parts of the country have been destroyed ever since the fire season began in late July.
Twenty-seven people have lost their lives. More than two-thousand homes have been destroyed and damaged in New South Wales. The authorities are finding it difficult to control the massive fires, even when receiving assistance from other countries, such as the United States.
These fires have been fuelled by the constant droughts and heat, with many arguing that climate change is behind this, making these disasters all the more worse. The fires have been all over the states of Australia with New South Wales being the most impacted.
Some of Australia’s largest cities such as Melbourne and Sydney have been affected, with damaged homes and smoke blanketing the urban centre. Towards the earlier days of December, the air quality in Sydney measured to hazardous levels, due to the smoke.
Although some fires have been contained within a few days, others have been blazing for months. Just in New South Wales, over a hundred fires are still burning.
One must note that during the summer, it is normal for Australia to experience a fire season. The reason for this is because of the hot and dry weather which makes it natural for blazes to start and spread. In most cases, the reasons for these fires are purely natural. Such an example would be lightning strikes in drought-affected forests. In one particular region, fires travelled more than twenty kilometres.
In some cases, even humans are to blame for starting the fires. Police from New South Wales arrested over twenty people for fire related incidents, with legal action taken against almost two hundred since November.
Fires are always a force to be reckoned with in Australia. Back in 2009, around a hundred and seventy people died.
Conditions have been worse than usual this year, with many praying for rain. Unfortunately, things do not seem to be getting any better. These conditions are also backed by strong winds which contribute to the blazes travelling faster.
The carnage has also brought about the death of millions of animals. Such would include birds, reptiles and mammals. One shocking statistic is that a third of koalas in New South Wales have been killed, together with the destruction of their habitat. Although koalas are not in any immediate risk of becoming extinct, certain species of frogs and birds are.
Our prayers are with Australia.