Australian fires rage on

Australian fires rage on

Georgia Gansereit, Assistant Editor

To Australians, natural bushfires are a very normal occurrence. In recent years, however, these bushfires have become increasingly more dangerous. Since the late summer months of 2019 (June, July, August, September), said fires have ravaged an estimated 17.9 million acres of land across the six Australian states.

According to CNN, 28 people have died, and an estimated half a billion animals have been affected–injured, killed, relocated, etc.

In lieu of such devastation, many people have raised donations and funds to help those affected by these fires. Thousands of firefighters are working to stop this crisis, and the federal government of Australia has sent military assistance for evacuations, to lead search and rescue missions, and to help clean up efforts. 

Along with donations, there have been several fundraisers and events held to help raise awareness for Australia. One major event that took place was “Rally for Relief” on Jan. 15, 2020, where a group of professional tennis players raised money for relief efforts. 

Some of these players include Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Caroline Woznacki, and Nick Kyrigos, who all participated in friendly matches to entertain the packed crowds of fans at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. According to the Australian Open website, almost 5 million dollars was raised in donations. 

One child, six year old Owen Colley, has helped raise over 100,000 dollars for the rescue group Wildlife Rescue South Coast. Colley, having previously lived in Australia, wanted to help spread awareness to people all over the world,  so his parents set up a way for people to make donations. 

Any donation over 50 dollars would receive a koala made by Colley himself. 

Because of events like “Rally for Relief” and individuals like Colley, millions of people around the world are spreading the word about the tragic Australian bushfires. 

Despite such efforts, these bushfires show no signs of stopping anytime soon. Due to the extremely hot and dry climates in Australia, as well as strong wind conditions, few firefighters have succeeded in putting them out. 

Even if the fires were to be put out soon, it will still be a very long time before the people and wildlife of Australia have fully recovered.