On November 11, 2019, Australia was struck with devastating wildfires that have been burning over several days and are still going on to this day. New South Wales was hit the hardest with 4.9 million acres burned over the other states who were affected by the fires. New South Wales has had over 100 fires that are still burning. The air of Australia was filled with so much smoke that it measured 11 times the hazardous level. Entire towns were affected, more than 1,588 homes were destroyed and with as many as 650 homes damaged. There has been a total of 17.9 million acres burned by the fires in over 6 states.
Not only have the fires affected the Australian citizens and their homes, but it has also affected the animals and their habitats. Koalas are one of the animals that were greatly affected by the wildfires. With a third of the koala species killed in the fires, a third of their habitats were destroyed. Although koalas are in no danger of extinction, other species such as frogs and birds could be wiped out if their habitats are struck with the wildfires. The number of animals killed by the fires has come to a total of 1 billion.
Thousands are involved to help fight the blazing wildfires that have greatly affected Australia's people, land, and animals. There are currently 3,000 army, Navy, Air Force, and 3,000 firefighters and support crew on the ground to help fight the fires. 440 emergency personnel are in the tent city at Swan Reach, Victoria. 240+ firefighting personnel are from the US, Canada, and New Zealand.
A few students were asked what they think about the fires currently burning in Australia.
Brande Kubiak, junior, commented by saying, “I was really upset about how many koalas have died because I think they look really cute.”
Brandon Young, senior, said, “It’s messed up how much damage the fire is causing in just a few days.”
Paige Remillard, senior, replied with, “Australia is having a hard time so I hope all the animals and its people are going to be okay.”
Sam Penning, senior, responded with, “Hopefully everything turns out okay and I hope they can stop the fires from getting worse.”
As the citizens and volunteers continue to fight the Australian fires, many people across the world have helped by donating money. Australia has received over millions and millions of dollars from celebrities, comedians, and ordinary people. We wish Australia the best and, for its people and animals, safety.