Yesterday, I asked someone how was their New Year and have they spent it at home. She said they lost their house by the fire and have to live on a camper van with a sick child. For a moment I was speechless and the only word that came from my mouth was ” Sorry”. I felt the pain in an instant. It felt surreal. That encounter made me reflect on the lives and properties lost by the bushfires.
Australia has been battling the worst bushfires ever that has claimed the lives of thousands of animals, killed residents and firefighters, burnt houses and farms leaving a number of people without their homes to stay this new year.
I have seen news updates in facebook, television news. I have seen a weird looking brown sky and a sun looking like a giant orange fireball reflecting the large fires happening around New South Wales.
Kris and I just moved to Australia last year and haven’t experienced summer in this country yet. We’ve heard that it can really get super hot as 45 degrees.
Why do bushfires happen in Australia?
There are plenty of reasons but the topmost one I could think of (and have heard) is the extremely hot weather. Australia is about as big as United States of America but majority of the land is dry and uninhabited. Fires in dried grasslands may start naturally by lightning strikes. Australia has also got lots of Eucalyptus trees (that provide food for the Koalas) that can be a very good source of oil and can burn fast. The wind may cause the fires to spread quickly in any direction.
There is no way we can stop bushfires from happening but a lot of people think it has gotten worse than ever.
Does global climate change have to do with this?
I think it has created a significant difference to what we are experiencing right now. Not only in Australia but in Amazon and Indonesia. It’s all over the world.
What can we do to help?
Here is a link that provides direct help to the families and communities affected. You can donate online and can make a difference wherever you are.
For those living in dry areas please spare a bucket of water as a refreshment for our wild animals.
Thanks for your help everyone. Remember to say a prayer for our brave firefighters, people battling the fires in the frontline, families, koalas, kangaroos and the wildlife.
Much love from the land down under.
Kris and Aileen