Burning of Australia

One of the many fires in Australia. Here we can see a house up in flames and a kangaroo ping away to safety. Photo courtesy of <i>The New York Times</i>.

One of the many fires in Australia. Here we can see a house up in flames and a kangaroo ping away to safety. Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

Sophia Navarro, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In 2018 there was an increase in fires around the world.

Since November Australia has been burning at an uncontrollable rate.

This has caused much damage the ecosystems and landscapes. 

Since the fires started there has been one every state, but the one which has experienced the most damage is New South Wales.

Over 4.9 million meters square of land have burned, according to CNN.

The fires have destroyed wooded areas, bush land, and national parks, such as the Blue Mountains. 

Entire towns have also been lost due to the fires. In New South Wales, 1,588 homes were destroyed and 650 damaged, according to CNN.

As for the animals, many species have been put in danger due to the fires. 

About half a billion animals have been affected  by the fires across New South Wales, according to CNN.

The total number of animals affected could be as high as one billion nationwide, according to ecologists from the University of Sydney.

“Almost a third of koalas and their habitats have been killed and destroyed in New South Wales due to the fires,” said Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley. 

Although the rise of koalas being killed the species is not endangered yet.

Koalas that have been saved from the fires have been taken to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital where they are treated for burns.

But not only has New South Wales been affected; some of Australia’s largest cities such as Melbourne and Sydney have also seen the damage. 

In December, Sydney’s smoke was extremely bad that the air quality measured 11 times the “hazardous” level.

In all of Australia, a total of 7.3 million meters square of land have been burning in its six states, according to CNN.

Natural causes seem to be the main factor, but in this situation dry lighting has been responsible for starting most of these fires.

Another cause is humans.

In New South Wales the police charged 24 people with deliberately starting bushfires.

Legal action has also been taken against 183 people for fire-related offenses since November, according to CNN. 

Some scientists also believe that climate change has also affected the fires.

They believe that it has impacted natural disasters because the weather conditions are growing more extreme.

Many people have pitched in to help in Australia. 

In New South Wales, more than 2,000 firefighters are working on the ground. 

The U.S., Canada, and New Zealand have sent additional firefighters to help.

Donations to help Australia can be made to the Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army Australia, the NSW Rural Fire Service, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society Australia.

Tennis star Nick Kyrgios pledged to donate $200 for every ace he hits at the Australian Open.

The Tennis Australia also committed to donate 100 Australian dollar donation for every ace served at the ATP Cup in Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney.

In  the first day at the tournament, a total of $21,600 was raised for the Australian Red Cross bushfire disaster relief after the players hit 216 aces.

To get some positive news, the Australian Open started on January 14.

The Australian Open Organizers didn’t want the fires to be the cause of stopping the tournament.

Three of the Australian Opens courts have retractable roofs in case of rain or extreme heat to keep players and tourists safe.

The tournament continues to take place until February 2.