Australia searches for aid following the fires


photo courtesy of Dara McAleer

Andrew Speicher

Australian bushfires have broken a new record for the most burned land at one time, according to the Rural Fire Service.  According to TIME magazine, 12 million acres have been burned by the fires. 

According to the Bustle website, 33 people have been killed, but 2,000 homes have also burned down due to these fires. According to Dara McAleer, a native to Perth, Australia, there are many new housing developments that have been built in former bush areas. The dryness of the land has made these developments susceptible to the fires. 

Thousands have been removed from their homes due to these fires. “My house isn’t close to the fires; but I’ve driven past them, and I can’t imagine what I would do if that was my home,” McAleer said.

Australians are in an effort to help each other in this time of crisis as well. Caoimhe McGuigan, from Perth, Australia, said that she helped a friend in need from the fires.

After spending the day at the beach, McGuigan’s friend was unable to return home “because the fires were so intense near her house.”  Her family had been evacuated. “Luckily her house was okay, but we just had to give her a place to stay for a few days,” McGuigan said. 

Some people in Australia think the cause of these major fires is the elimination of prescribed burns. According to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Australia performs prescribed burns to reduce the buildup of flammable material and to rehabilitate vegetation. However, the environmentalist groups, or “greenies” as they are called in Australia have been blocking the prescribed burn efforts made by the firefighters, as stated by The Daily Mail. 

Environmental groups are concerned about the possible harmful effects made by the prescribed burns on the environment. In the recent California fires the prescribed burns were used to clear dead trees that would ignite the fires further, as stated by Yale Environment 360.

Not only have humans been harmed by the fires, but the wildlife of Australia as well. Over one billion animals have been killed by the fires, as stated by USA Today. The Australian government is promising $ 50 million to aid the wildlife impacted by the fires, according to The Guardian. 

Moreover, a great deal of Australian species are becoming endangered or even being pushed toward extinction. According to, the platypus is on the verge of extinction from the fires. Furthermore, the koala population is at risk for extinction after the bushfires, according to Bustle. As stated by The Cut website, these species are more susceptible to extinction due to the water loss from the fires. These animals have no form of hydration caused by the catastrophe. Through The World Wildlife Fund, you are able to virtually adopt a koala by donating $55.

The first weekend of February, Australia’s capital lifted the state of emergency as the fires had started to calm down. Australia’s government has made plans of funding 10 years to rebuild everything they have lost. The next step for Australia is finding a way to get these funds.