Bushfires Tear Through Australia

Phoebe Ciocca

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While rain washes over Rome, the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales are facing “catastrophic” fire threats. Bushfires have been tearing through Eastern Australia for almost a week with the local fire forces calling them “the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen”. According to The Guardian, there are 60 fires that are currently burning in New South Wales, 40 of which are of massive sizes and are out of control, and 50 in Queensland. Three deaths have already been recorded in New South Wales, and 150  homes have been utterly destroyed. Due to these fires the nation has been enduring extreme conditions such as perilous drought, temperatures reaching over 35 degrees Celsius, strong winds and serious air intoxication due to the smoke pollution. 

Many Australian politicians are being asked whether this monstrosity is being caused by climate change, though a direct answer has not yet been given to the public, as the Prime Minister Scott Morrison only stated on Sunday “My only thoughts today are with those who have lost their lives and their families.” Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack instead enraged many citizens by somewhat dismissing the matter with “We’ve had fires in Australia since time began”. However, Carol Sparks, mayor of the Glen Innes Severn Council on the New South Wales north coast, whose own house in Wytaliba was damaged strongly dissaggreed with McCormack’s statement, believing instead that it is crucial not to ignore the role of climate change, replying with “It is not a political thing. It is a scientific fact that we are going through climate change”.

While much of the blame could be placed upon the great aridity of the country, the dry season, which normally ranges from April to September, has terminated, and the nation should not have to be facing this danger. It is expected that on November 12th, 1,300 firefighters will risk their lives to attempt to put out the majority of the fire, which is, in fact, growing larger by the minute.