Catastrophic fires rip through Australia

Sydney Szabo

BBC
A famous road going through Flinders Chase National Park before the fires

As many people know, there have been devastating bushfires in Australia that have destroyed millions of acres of land. The fires originated on Gospers Mountain in New South Wales when a lightning strike ignited dry trees and brush, according to The New York Times. They are said to be the worst fires seen in decades.

This tragedy has destroyed more than 3,000 homes and have even taken 28 lives so far. These fires are so massive that Australian officials are struggling to contain the flames even with assistance from other countries, including the United States. 

To get an idea of how much has really burned, CNN has compared the fire’s devastation to be larger than Belgium and Denmark combined.

One of the largest and most well known impact has been on the wild animals that live in the burning habitats. The affected groups include birds, reptiles and mammals. The only species not to be affected has been bats, insects and frogs. 

 

BBC

 

Koalas have really been affected, with a third of their habitat and population being gone due to the fires. Luckily, they aren’t in immediate danger of extinction because they are spread throughout the country. 

 

About half a billion animals have been affected and the fires aren’t expected to end for a few months as it is only around half way through their summer season.

 

The Australian government has spent over $50 million on emergency rescue services and habitat recovery. 

 

Kangaroo Island is one of Australia’s most important wildlife sanctuaries but it is a fear that half the island may be scorched. The island is most known for its biodiversity and many are concerned for the endangered species that have inhabited it.