Due to a disturbingly large number of wildfires, Australia is burning. The fires began in July of last year, and continue to burn strong with no signs of stopping.
Australia’s summer is still approaching, and more fires are predicted to burn through February, as it is the peak of fire season.
According to CNN, 17.9 million acres of land have already been destroyed, which is more than the land destroyed in the recent Amazon fires. New South Wales has seen the greatest effects of these fires and has lost 12.1 million acres to the fires. More than half a billion of its animals are currently in danger, and one-third of its koala population is affected, but it is unknown exactly how many other animals are hurt or have died nationwide.
All animals could be in danger, but since most species have spread out over the continent, they are not in danger of extinction. However, Australia is home to many niche species that only live in small, concentrated populations. This makes them at risk not only as individuals, but as an entire species.
A total of 27 people have lost their lives to this devastating event, many of them being volunteer firefighters. In New South Wales alone, more than 2,000 firefighters are battling the wildfires to try to save their country. Australia’s firefighters are not alone though, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand have all sent firefighters of their own to help.
Many other countries and people have also pitched in with the best they can offer: money and supplies to help aid those fighting this disaster.
As the fires continue to burn, Australia has the support of many countries and even more people around the world. They hope to be able to contain and extinguish the fires so that it can go back to being the wild and untamed continent that we know and love.