Humans are no strangers to wildfires, it is recorded that 90% of wildfires are started by humans, and the remaining 10% is started by natural forces such as like lava or lightning (Insurance Information Institute). The question of what starts a wildfire is simple, it could be arson, it could be a house or building burning down or something simple like flicking a cigarette into bushes.
As of January 2020, many areas in Australia are burning. The areas outside of Sydney that are burning are slowly moving towards other cities with the help of wind. Many natives are in dismay and are fleeing to other parts of the country. In Mallacoota, people are forced to flee to the ocean and need to live on boats while they watch their town burn down. Several fires are burning in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, and on Kangaroo Island, and island about 126 miles from Adelaide. The area with the worst damage is in the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located (The Guardian). Firefighters with the help of Australia’s military are battling more than 100 fires in New South Wales and more than 900 homes have been destroyed (Time).
This is one of the hottest droughts that Australia has ever experienced and it’s taking its toll in so many different ways in Sydney the blueness of the sky slowly disappeared from all of the haze in the air, nationwide there have been reports of 9 people dead, about 1000 homes lost, about 9 acres burnt out and the constant threat of lightning strikes that spark dozens of fires because of how dry everything is (Time).
People in these areas are devastated, they are losing their homes, their communities and it’s all burning so fast, not even firefighters are able to slow down the flames. Many people are upset about losing Native animals too, it’s hard to walk outside and see so many hurt, or dead animals that made one’s country so unique.
Many people in the area and across the country of Australia are protesting, they feel that the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison isn’t doing a good job with keeping up to the countries needs. Many people in and out of the country blame the greenhouse gasses getting pumped into the air by many factories in Australia, but Morrison is not very accepting of this idea and blames the climate on the reason the country is burning.
Many countries are trying their best to raise awareness about what is really happening in Australia, from donations to troops, people trying to save animals and offer better places to live and people protesting around the globe about the effects of global warming and the rise of greenhouse gasses, all people are trying to chip in in this tragic event.
Many people in Ramapo are lending a hand in many different ways. The art department at Ramapo is teaming up with students and certain clubs to crochet bird nests and kangaroo pouches, this idea has been brought over to Indian Hills and some middle schools. Mrs. Gibson, the District Visual Arts Department Head Teacher at Ramapo, runs this program and is “so glad that people are bringing things in and getting crafty.” Krista Bogan, a senior at Ramapo is glad that the club that she helps run, Interact, teamed up with the art department to help make beds for animals. She encourages people to donate, share information about what people can do for the country and how people can help out. If one wants to help out with this see Mrs. Gibson for more information, all items made are due to her on February 14th!
Map of Australia as of January 2020 (red-severe,orange-mild, yellow- tame)
Photo credit: USA Today