Australian Wildfire: What Now? by Ellie

January 17, 2020


Australian Wildfire: What Now?

September of 2019, the terrifying wild bushfire season began in Australia. According to Nathan Rott from NPR, more than 23 people have been confirmed dead and thousands of people, including those in New Zealand suffer from the consequences. The air quality, skyrocketing temperatures and shifting winds makes it impossible to breathe and see not only in Australia but neighboring countries from thousands of miles away also. Thousands of people including tourists like Meaghan Wagg and her kids from Canada are waiting to be on the top of the evacuation list. Still, it seems impossible to evacuate everyone as more than 200 wild bushfires continue to burn.

Countries from all over the world have sent volunteers to help fight the Australian wildfires. Most notably, according to NPR News, 69 Canadians have been sent to battle against the deadly wildfires of the vast tracts of Australia. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre has sent three different groups of highly trained staff for a 38 day deployment in New South Wales. This crew often deals with roles in command, aviation, planning, logistics and operations. In the process, two volunteer fighters have been found dead. However, this relationship between Australia and Canada are reciprocal as Australian firefighters have helped Canada with their wildfires more than 4 times in the past. 

For those of us who are not highly skilled in firefighting, there are several courses of action we can take to help fight the Australian wildfires and prevent more from happening. First of all, we must cut down on the use of fossil fuels. According to NPR News, Buchholz, who studies climate change describes fossil fuels that can “change the landscape ecosystem from being neutral or harmless to something that is destructive.” Climate and fire have reciprocal relationships as well as climate impacts fire and fire impacts climate. It is important to achieve a balance between the two by reducing fossil fuels.