Australia fire outbreak: The Australian bush wildfire is still burning and according to experts, will continue for some time.
So far, 24 people have sadly lost their lives because of the fire. Four firefighters were briefly hospitalised because of excess smoke inhalation, exhaustion and hand burns. The air is generally unbreathable in some cities like Canberra, Perth and New South Wales.
However, what caused the fires?
Causes of Australia fire outbreak
The major factors causing the Australia fire outbreak are extreme heat, prolonged drought and strong winds. Australia is no stranger to fire outbreaks. In fact, it is a part of the region’s calendar. But this time around, it looks more serious than it ever was. According to reports, the fire outbreak in Australia was caused by many things happening at once.
The heat in the country is at a record-breaking level and this makes it easy for bushes to catch fire. To make matters worse, Australia has been experiencing drought making the bush dry and highly inflammable.
This combination alone is enough to cause fire disasters. Now, coupled with these are heavy winds that are helping the fire spread. The wind even hinders the efforts of firefighters making the fire spread faster.
As of when this article was written, there are 146 fires of which 65 are not under control yet.
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Climate change is also blamed for these natural occurrences. The heat, for example, is linked to the fact that the weather condition is hotter than when fumes were not as present in the atmosphere as they are today.
Effects of the fire outbreak
The rising number of deaths relating to the fire is a major adverse effect. Many people have also been displaced and forced to leave their houses. Some initially had to take refuge on boats in rivers to escape the fire. Properties valued into millions of dollars are already also gone.
The air is bad as well. Looking at pictures from cities like New South Wales, one can see the orange-red sky as smoke pollutes the air.
Also, commercial activities are halting. According to CNN meteorologists, flights from Sydney to Melbourne have been canceled because of fire-induced thunderstorms, called pyrocumulonimbus clouds.
In Canberra, the temperature has risen to 44 degrees celsius, which is the highest in nearly a century. Perth has the highest temperature on record for the region now measuring 48.9 degrees celsius.
The city of Victoria has declared a “state of disaster” while New South Wales has declared a “state of emergency”. However, what can you do?
How you can help Australia wildfire victims
There are already ongoing efforts to combat the fires. The government had to deploy 3,000 men from the reserve troops to help. Also, firefighters are doing all they can. Volunteers are needed in the area. But what if you live far?
An Australian comedian, Celeste Barber started a fundraiser on her Facebook page. It had raised up to $13 million within two days and more donations are needed. American singer Pink had donated $500,000 to the effort and called on other celebrities to help out as well.
Some other organisations are working on helping victims in the area and you can donate to them. There is the Australian Red Cross Disaster relief and recovery team in the area. Foodbank is also providing food for displaced victims while Airbnb is working on creating emergency housing for them as well.
For more on how to help, check out the links in this CNN article.
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