As the Australian summer sets in and families enjoy their Christmas and New Year holidays together. Many Australians are finding themselves battling to keep their homes, business, and families safe from fire.
Fires are burning across the country with many people fleeing for their lives. According to wikipedia.org, the fires have burned an estimated 6.3 million hectares (16 million acres; 63,000 square kilometers; 24,000 square miles), destroyed over 2,500 buildings (including over 1,300 houses) and killed 25 people as of 5 January 2020.
I almost cancelled my own New Year Holiday as I had to travel 453km to northern NSW as I’d have to take alternate routes to avoid bush fires and even then I was still going to be in a high drought and bush fire areas. Whilst I was away fires burnt 400 hectares only 15 minutes from our home and was event thought to be deliberately lit. This is simply the story of many across the eastern coast of Australia right now.
Driving past many distant mountains with smoke clouds rising up to the sky, through kilometers of roads with obvious fire damage and even via flames and smoke coming up the mountainside as helicopters flew past and dumped water on them to keep them under control. More depressing is seeing the rivers that once flowed only months ago, with either stagnant water puddles or just dry rocky riverbeds. With no water for water planes to fill up with the rivers, the job is left to helicopters which trucks of water are driven in to fill the bags to be dropped. Which to me seems so much less than the planes can do. However, what choice is there when there is simply no water to help combat the flames, to begin with. It feels like a vicious cycle set to continue all summer as temperatures are set to continue to sore.
One town one of our friends visited did have water, however, it’s so below usable that the council is issuing out bottled water. I can tell you that the heat is unbelievable and many towns and farms are struggling and with the fires now yet another threat has only highlighted to the world just how bad our drought really is. We’ve known for years now that our rural farmers are suffering in drought, but as the threat and effects creep closer to our coastal and metropolitan areas it is more than ever obvious that our water problem and dare I say, climate problem is not going away anytime soon. As many as half a million of Australian wildlife have died and will continue to be effected and displaced.
Now more than ever our country needs our support, while our fires blaze and brave men and women battle daily the blazes. People’s homes and businesses burn to the ground, many that won’t be able to come back from this as with the flames, their entire stock is gone with it.
There are many ways in which you can help support our country at this time. For a list of donation options, you can visit https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/bushfire-relief-how-you-can-help-those-in-need/news-story/a0476ac3538b8c373f281ea6be204421
Where you can choose to help firefighters, wildlife and those affected and displaced.
The effects of these fires will surely continue to be felt well into the year even after the flames settle. We will then need to continue to support our country in many ways. Keep this in mind when the cost increases at the grocery store for Aussie products. Buy them and support our farmers, spend your tourism dollars here and refrain from overseas for your next trip. Help keep the financial support here to rebuild our great country.
Main picture instagram source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B68_tKvH2Bl/