We know a lot has been going on in the news during the past several weeks and it’s been hard to keep up. One of the many headlines is the more than 100 fires burning in Australia, scorching 12 million acres. To put that in perspective, the Amazon fires that were huge news earlier in the year burned just over 2 million acres and the California wildfires burned 250,000 acres. These Australian fires are absolutely massive.
A big contributing factor to the blazes is the extremely high temperatures in combination with dry conditions and strong winds. The death toll is currently at 19 with dozens missing and over 1,400 homes destroyed. The images of some seaside residents taking refuge on the beaches and being rescued by the Australian navy as their homes and businesses are destroyed have a truly apocalyptic look.
It is estimated that since the outbreak started in September at least 480 million animals, including some of the most iconic species in Australia, have been killed by the inferno. The koala population in New South Wales alone is estimated to have lost over 8,000 members or 30% of the species of slow-moving, tree-dwelling marsupials.
The images of these lovable animals and other wildlife suffering are heartbreaking. The following links are to organizations helping these creatures. If you’re able, please help their efforts with a donation.