Australia’s wildfires have been burning for months since last year. Unfortunately, a series of large wildfires across the country continue to be fueled due to persistent high temperatures and months of severe drought. On January 31st, ACT authorities declared a state of emergency. The blaze has killed at least 33 people so far, including four firefighters. The fires have destroyed more than 11 million hectares of bush, forest, and parks across Australia. The fires, which have raged for months, have havoc on Australia’s ecology and causing irreversible damage to the climate and plants and animals.
On January 9, a fire destroyed kangaroo island in south Australia, killing two people and an estimated 25,000 koalas. The island is known for its unique animal species. The officials fear it may never recover. In addition, the smoke from fires that spread across many states caused severe air pollution and even acid rain.
For now, meteorologists are warning that Australia’s bad weather and higher fire risk will continue.
BBC. (Jan. 31, 2020). Australia fires: A visual guide to the bushfire crisis. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50951043