Australia deals with overwhelming bushfires

Elizabeth Martinez, Reporter

 Since the start of Bushfire Season in Australia, numerous fires have been reported in the country causing mass destruction, wreaking havoc and putting many wildlife and citizens in danger. These fires have burned up nearly 2.5 million acres of land in New South Wales, killing six citizens and causing an entire species to be considered “functionally extinct” after killing 1,000 of its kind. The smoke produced by the fires have surrounded largely-populated areas, putting millions of people at risk of smoke inhalation. Currently, an SOS alert has been issued for New South Wales measuring eleven times the hazardous level and causing residents to flee the affected areas and seek refuge in other parts of the country.

 

   So how exactly do these fires start? Well, of course the typical causes of most fires are excruciating heat, drought and the crime of arson. Temperatures in some parts of the country have been reaching high levels which aids in the arson caused by adolescents under 21, who cause the majority of the fires. There are temperatures such as 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 Celcius, and a handful of adolescents have been caught and charged for their crimes involved with the fires. 

 

   Scott Morrison, their prime minister, even refused demands to make volunteers to become professionalized or for more effort in helping fight climate change claiming that volunteers “want to be there”. Many of the 2,700 firefighters are volunteers, and Morrison is claiming that these volunteers should be enough as they want to be there defending their community. This has understandably upset Australia’s residents, but they have not taken much action apart from the youth attempting to spread the news of what is been happening via social media sites such as Tumblr and Twitter in hopes to reach news outlets around the world hoping someone can help them. These kids have been bringing light to some awful situations they have had to be in, one Twitter user said that they had smoke surrounding their school for hours and fire brigade wasn’t notified until they got to their lunch period. Some schools have even cancelled because of the dangerous conditions they are expecting. 

 

   In my opinion, I think that Scott Morrison should be caring a lot more than he makes it seem like he does. As the country’s Prime Minister I would assume he would want more effort put into helping out with the fires and should, at the very least, professionalize the volunteers since they are after all putting themselves at risk on their own time. I am glad that people have reached out on social media to get this information out there to the news. If it was not for them sharing their experiences and showing what’s been happening to their homes, we would have been left more in the dark about the whole thing.