On the 11th of November 2019, a small fire started in Ravensbourne, Australia. Over the next several days it managed to burn through over 20,000 hectares of land. Now Australia are facing their most horrific environmental struggle of 12.1 million acres of land being set alight. The Australian fire brigade have been fighting the brutal fires, working on foot to cover land and direct evacuees and the USA, Canada and New Zealand have also joined forces to help.
However, the biggest problem is the environment and the animals who have been severely affected by the fires. Until the fires have officially stopped, they won’t know exactly how many animals have died. Before the fires, there were droughts across Australia, so the wildlife and shrubbery were already undernourished.
There have been many upsetting videos online of passers by giving water to Koalas and Kangaroos. As well as people pulling Koalas out of the forests and pouring cold water on their fur to relieve the burns. Many Koalas and kangaroos have been directly killed by the fires or choking from smoke. Many animals have been rescued although the consequences have resolved to having singed fur, raw patches of burnt flesh and blistered paws, leaving them unable to walk.
Wombats are another species to have been affected badly out of the wildlife. The species can’t deal well with stress, or cope with severe amounts of heat. Also, because of their short legs, they wouldn’t be able to outrun the fire. Reptiles will be lucky enough to survive the bush fires, as they can bury underground for safety from the flames, however after the fires will stop there will be no food and no shelter left for them to live.
Scientists can’t tell how long it will take for the shrubbery to grow back but considering most of the burnt foliage will have to be manually removed for the chance for new bush to grow back, it could take some time. Studies have shown that plants grow slower in high-altitude alpine regions, so for some parts of Australia this will take even longer.
There isn’t much doubt for the cause of this to be lead to climate change, as this year alone there has been a huge increase of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, and since Australia haven’t had any rain for a while, as well as now entering their summer season, temperatures are increasing leaving room for the bush fires to start/ continue.
There are lots of charities that you can donate to, to help Australia and their wildlife. Some of the charities are listed below. Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army Australia, NSW Rural Fire Service, St. Vincent de Paul society Australia.
As well as there being animals sent to rehabilitation centres and special animal hospitals, this will heighten the chances of more animals being released back into the wild after the fires have stopped. For animal charities you can donate to; WIRES, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Currumbin Wildfire Hospital.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any signs of the fires stopping soon, but all we can do is try to help, and pray for Australia. Hopefully this is what it has taken to shake the world’s population and finally help the community to support climate change in future years.
Written by Emily-Jane Sands.