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Australia Is On Fire


(photo courtesy of AP Wire)

By — Danny Kistner

Australia is on fire. 

Fires during Australia’s summers are not abnormal, but the severity of the fires occurring now, specifically in the state of New South Wales (NSW), are not of the usual kind. Climate change especially, has led to the worsening of droughts and overall dry weather in Australia. Dry lighting—lightning striking areas of extreme drought and lighting them on fire—has been an extreme issue, accounting for a majority of the fires in Australia’s southwestern regions. Legal action is also being taken by NSW police against almost 200 people for fire-related crimes, 24 people having been arrested. 

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has been effectively ignoring the fires, his vacationing in Hawaii one of the many reasons for the protests that have also been going on. They challenge the government as well as the government’s lack of trying to view the fires as a serious issue. In a fire that has killed 28 people, destroyed 28 million acres of land, and 2,000 homes, Australia’s residents are equally aware of Morrison’s mistakes. Though he now regrets taking his trip to Hawaii, having stated so publicly, he has not been forgiven. In a video by The Guardian, Morrison is even seen trying to shake the hands of those living in Cobargo, New South Wales, he is rejected and criticized. 

That said, aboriginals in Australia have dealt with these fires for centuries before Europeans had even set foot on the island. Their methods to control and slowly stop these bushfires before they happen to spread to larger areas and cause more damage more effective than the modern techniques that firefighters are using right now. Where aboriginal peoples are in charge in Australia, the fires are not nearly as big. These methods are more expensive though and the lighting of smaller fires to prevent bigger ones, though common sense, requires much more man power. 

As climate change worsens, so too will the fires, meaning that this much older, though more effective method, may be Australia’s only hope in lieu of the fact that cold weather and rain is predicted not to bring peace. Another way for people to help, especially non-Australians, is to donate. Several are listed below, though it should be noted that none of them are connected to the government, which is currently notorious for doing nothing with the money they are receiving. 

Donate —

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