Australian Bushfires

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Australian Bushfires

Annabelle Sirois, Journalist

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A 2-year drought and record-breaking temperatures, one of the major factors to these Australian bushfires, has led to not only the deaths of about 24 people but thousands of animals as well. These fires are devastating and can be seen from space. They are in their fifth month of burning and nobody can see a stop to them. 13 million acres of land have burned and compared to the California fires that had less than 2 million acres burn it’s a lot to take in. The sky has turned a dark blood red of which has drifted to New Zealand turning their skies an orange color, the smoke has also drifted to South America. 

All of these events are happening because of about 100 plus people. 24 of whom are charged with deliberately starting the fires, 53 are facing legal action for ignoring the fire ban that was set in place. Another 47 are accused of improperly discarding their lit cigarettes or matches. Anyone with crimes relating to the fires are facing up to 25 years for damaging property with intent of endangering as well as 21 years for starting a brush fire and being reckless to its spreading. With the fire ban in place, those found lighting a fire face up to 12 months and/or a fine of $5,500. Lighting a tobacco product within 15 meters of a stack of hay, grain, corn, or any standing crop face a fine of $5,500. These people face so much time and fines for burning practically an entire continent. 

The family of the late Steve Irwin had helped save and rescue over 90,000 animals falling victim took the fires. His wife Terri, daughter Bindi and son Robert operate the Australian zoo’s wildlife hospital of which has not seen such commotion. Many animals have died in the fires but most who make it are being brought to the hospital to be treated. Those who don’t make it are either running away or have died to the fires because their habitat is gone. Over a billion animals have died in the fires. All while thousands of people are being evacuated. 

Many celebrities, activists and streamers are speaking or acting/donating on the issue. Influential people include Gabbie Hannah, Marshmello, Pokimane, Dakotaz, The Click House, Bella Paige, Celeste Barber, Bernie Sanders. A well-known activist speaking on the issue, Greta Thunberg, A 17yr old Swedish girl fighting against climate change. She says that no political action had been made and it has to happen now if anything is to be done on the issue. Many people are agreeing with Greta on her points saying things like “Thank you Greta. The situation here is horrendous. The smell and taste of ash is everywhere, the skies are black and blood red, even in the middle of the day, and the screams of dying animals can be heard throughout the brush.” Another said “it really says a lot about us as a species when a 16 year old has more intelligence, common sense, and compassion than the world leaders. You give me hope for my children Greta, they just take that hope away and my heart breaks seeing this all over the news.”  To help the animals and those in need you can donate directly to a charity of your choice such as the Australian Red Cross or to one of the people listed before. All the money donated to those listed go to charities helping out.