Australia is on fire

Picture Credit: Wolter Peeters/The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty Images

Picture Credit: Wolter Peeters/The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty Images

Brushfire season in Australia has quickly escalated and is experiencing some of the most severe wildfires seen in decades. During the Australian summer the dry and hot climate makes it very easy for fires to spread and rage. Climate change also contributes to natural disasters, making them worse. 

New South Wales is  been the Australian state hit the hardest by the fires. National parks and large cities like Melbourne and Sydney have been affected. CNN says the smoke has been very bad making the air quality hazardous.  

According to ABC News, there have been 24 Australians arrested and charged with intentionally starting fires. In addition to the 24 arrests, 100 others are facing legal action for not abiding by the state’s fire ban or for discarding a lit cigarette or match on dry land.  

Starting a bushfire intentionally and being reckless in causing its spread can result in up to 21 years in prison,” authorities said.

The damage produced by the fires has been devastating. As stated by CNN, 12 million acres have burned, 2,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, and the loss of many lives. In total 27 people and an estimated 480 million animals have died. 

The fires have been raging since September of 2019 and are still active now. Australian states are granting powers and additional help from the government.

“There are more than 2,000 firefighters working on the ground in NSW alone, and more support is on the way — the US, Canada, and New Zealand have sent additional firefighters to help,” says CNN.