Australia has been battling these huge fires since September. These fires have burned over 15.6 million acres, which is eight times more area than the California wildfires in 2018, setting a new record for the world.
These fast spreading fires have taken 25 lives and destroyed over 2,000 homes. The air is thick and smokey topped with an orange haze, making it hard to breathe and see in this area. And that is just the impact to people. Australia is full of wildlife. Over 1 billion animals have been killed, and scientists are fearing that this will permanently impact the ecosystem.
Australia has been blessed with some rain, but the hot, dry and windy conditions are still causing the fires to spread rapidly. The fires will continue to kill many animals and wipe away people’s homes and lives. According to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, there are 2,500 firefighters batting 134 fires in the area. About 53 of those fires are uncontained. The severe weather conditions that are continuing in Australia are undoing the progress that the firefighters have made and are making the fires worse. This is causing many more evacuations due to the high temperatures in the region. People magazine says, “The fire is so severe that it is creating its own weather.” Temperatures in some areas were expected to reach as high as 104 degrees since last Friday.
Clouds of smoke combined with the high temperatures in this area are causing massive thunderstorms, including lightning which is a risk of causing more fires. These storms are also creating intense downdrafts as hot air pushes up into the atmosphere, causing fire tornados. There are also little woody debris on fire flying through the air which can be very dangerous for animals and people near them . These are called “Ember Attacks” according to Mother Nature Network. These “Ember Attacks” are also a risk for more fires and potentially can make the existing fires worse.
These fires are continuing to leave their impact across Australia, killing wildlife and people along with their homes. Many firefighters from all over the world are being sent to help and stop these fires from destroying this beautiful land.