Australian Wildfires- Millions Destroyed


Kyleigh Larson and Amanda Nardo, Journalists

Homes were destroyed; 17.9 million acres of land were burned; up to 28 people died; and millions of animals perished. The Australian wildfire is being ranked as one of the worst wildfires in decades. In the state of New South Wales, over 3,000 houses have been destroyed by the fire, and a 28-year-old firefighter died after his truck rolled over from high winds.

The Australian fire season isn’t over yet. High temperatures usually peak in January or February so there could be a few more weeks of the fires. With fires lingering for more weeks, they can cause a tremendous amount of loss, not only in lives but also in habitats and homes. 

Experts have proven that climate change is an important factor in the cause of these wildfires; the heat and drought have worsened, as well as caused the fire season to begin a lot earlier. As the years go on and less attention is brought to climate change it will only result in worse and more fires in places like Australia, California, etc. If our climate continues to worsen, more fires like these will occur more often.

Australis should be a lesson for us.  “In total, more than 7.3 million hectares (17.9 million acres) have been burned across Australia’s six states – an area larger than the countries of Belgium and Denmark put together.” That is an insane amount of land and a tragedy that will take years to recover from. As well as the impact of this tragedy, all communities hope to never experience such an event again. But, unfortunately at the rate that we are going, it is likely to see a tragic event like this occur again. 

We interviewed one of the main science teachers in our high school, Ms. Lafrance. The questions we asked ranged from how the fires began, to what our school can do to help prevent this from happening in the past. This tragedy ended in many deaths and injuries which is why getting as much feedback and help from around the world is so beneficial. Many organizations have raised money to support Australia; Ms. Lafrance recommended one that she found.  

Ms. Lafrance stated: 

“The fires were/are caused by heat, drought, and wind, all of which are exacerbated by climate change. Australia has been experiencing record high temperatures (look them up and you will be shocked) which makes conditions perfect for fires. As the Earth’s temperature is only increasing, I’m sure we will see more events like this and like what has happened in California the past few years.

So much of Australian wildlife is only found there so it is a tragedy that so many animals were killed. I heard the number may be up to one billion animals.

The Environmental Club created koala pins that were given out for a donation of $1 or more. This money will be sent to “Wildlife Victoria”. This particular charity was recommended by our custodian Damian Tattam who is from Australia. He asked his niece where we should send the money and she came up with that charity. She wrote this article about the fires for The Guardian

Ipswich High School has raised up to $275 that will be donated to the Australian Wildfires.