Australia's fires have shown the true gravity of a global climate crisis. 14.7 million acres have been burned in the australian bushfires, going through twice the amount of land as the Amazon Rainforest. The fires have supposedly occurred due to drought and a heat wave, but the summer in Australia has just begun.
The smoke coming from the fires can be seen from space covering 1.3 billion acres, which is half the size of Europe. In fact, the smoke plumes are so enormous they have begun to create its own weather. The heat from the fires create thunderstorms that, in turn, create more fires.
The Bureau of Meteorology put out a statement saying, "Pyro-cumulonimbus clouds have developed to altitudes over 16km in East Gippsland this afternoon. These fire-induced storms can spread fires through lightning, lofting of embers and generation of severe wind outflows."
At the moment there at 136 fires across the continent and New South Wales Fire Service announced that only 69 of them have not been contained. Professor Chris Dickman of the University of Sydney predicted that 480 million animals had died from the fire, "The figure includes mammals, birds and reptiles and does not include insects, bats or frogs. The true loss of animal life is likely to be much higher than 480 million. NSW’s wildlife is seriously threatened and under increasing pressure from a range of threats, including land clearing, exotic pests and climate change. Australia supports a rich and impressive diversity of mammals, with over 300 native species. The continent is uniquely dominated by marsupials and is the only great land mass to contain three major groups of living mammals: marsupials, monotremes (egg-laying platypus and echidna) and placentals. About 244 species, or 81% of this distinctive fauna, are found only in Australia. Some 34 species and subspecies of native mammals have become extinct in Australia over the last 200 years, the highest rate of loss for any region in the world."
Currently, 24 people have been reported killed, where as other citizens have been told to evacuate. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a 1.2 billion dollar fund on top of the millions already spent to help with the fires. 2700 firefighters are fighting the bushfires and 3000 army forces have been deployed to help. He continued with saying that if more money was needed then more money would be given, but citizens are still having a hard time believing in their prime minister after he went on vacation during the initial outbreak of the fires.
The most famous Australians, the Irwin family, announced that their family hospital had over 90,000 animal patients with them most recently being fire victims. This includes Koala's, predicted to go extinct in 2050, they now face starvation from the destruction of their habitat and consequently, an earlier death sentence.
At the moment, Cyclone Blake is predicted to hit the continent and bring harsh winds and heavy rains. Though some may think rain is a good thing, experts are saying that people can expect the land to flood.
Contributions have been coming in from all over the world including @Pink, @thedukeandduchessofsussex (and @KimKardashian?)
Newsweek has curated a list of various ways to help in the fire from donations to animals, humans and hosting families. For more information please go here.
For those in need, relief centers have been established at:
Corryong, High School,
118 Hovell StreetWangaratta,
Performing Arts Centre,
33 Ford StreetFor those with animals,
Wangaratta Showgrounds at Golf Links LaneWodonga Showgrounds Wilson Street for self-sufficient community members with pets (Short term)
Australian Defence Force Relief Accommodation at Latchford Barracks, Bonegilla, Wodonga. People need to register to stay at this location at the Wodonga Relief Centre or Tallangatta Relief Centre