Australian Fires Destroy Land & Hurt Animals


Brett Hemmimgs

A firefighter standing in front of a fire in Sydney

Elena Parraz, Staff Reporter

Australia has a fire season that they call ‘bush fire seasons’ which start from dry, hot land and other natural causes. According to a Wikipedia article, the bush fire seasons typically get grouped into years such as 2019-2020 Australian bush fire season. Fire seasons vary based on the region and typically run from June one year until May the next year.

Recently Australia has been having a horrible fire season due to their record breaking heat, drought, and lightning strikes. Australia has been fighting these fires since late September when lightning struck the very dry brittle ground. Since then an estimated total of 46 million acres have burned in their states and territories. A newspaper, Vox reported that the acres burnt is “an area larger than Portugal and more than 12 times the area burned in California in 2018.” In addition, the fires have killed at least 28 people and destroyed 2,000 homes. 

The fires have greatly impacted the animals. Many animals who have been close to extinction before the fires, now face a faster push to being extinct, koalas in particular. There has been an estimated half a billion animals that have died from these fires. Many scientists are fearing a long term damage to many sensitive ecosystems. In an article found in USA Today, it is said that the fires in Kangaroo Island have been particularly devastating for wildlife.

In the same article, ecologist Stuart Blanch said, “The fires have been devastating for Australia’s wildlife and wild places, as massive areas of native bush land, forests and parks have been scorched.”

Heavy rains helped contain many of the fires and assisted firemen to control the flames.