Australian Fires Impact Half-a-Billion Animals

Alexa Salerno, Reporter

The southern-hemisphere summer has brought unwanted fires across Australia. In the beginning of January, a naturally dry and humid environment allowed for dangerous fires to blaze throughout Australia, setting a record 15-million acres into total wreckage.

In addition to homes, as fires ruin the naturally mesmerizing and diverse landscape, millions of animals are being killed or pushed from their habitats. It is estimated that over half-a-billion animals have already been affected by the fires and certain species of frogs or birds may be wiped out completely depending on high concentrations of animals in some locations. 

This mass destruction is catastrophic to both humans and animals alike. Australia’s normally blue and clear skies are being described as “blood red” because of the intense amounts of fire spreading across the country. These fires are expected to be worse than the infamous 2009 “Black Saturday” fires that raged through  Australia and destroyed over 3,500 houses, killing 173 people. 

The economic impact of these current fires is expected to exceed the record $4.4 billion that the 2009 fires cost the country. This rare weather phenomenon is causing fire-driven thunderstorms, fire storms, and ember attacks. 

Although it seems like only firefighters can help this issue, there is a way that everyone around the world can help. There are hundreds of organizations that have started trends to donate money to Australia to help them rebuild after these severe circumstances. 

For example, an organization named “Plant A Tree Co” started a post that has received over 1.7 million likes on Instagram. The caption claims that for every one hundred people who follow the account and reposts the picture, one dollar will be donated to the NSW Rural Fire Service. This $1 could really add up and save the lives of animals or help someone rebuild their house. In addition to donating, there have been many Americans who have traveled to Australia to help save and care for Koala Bears and Kangaroos that are in severe danger. 

Furthermore, celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres have attempted to raise awareness by posting about it and discussing it on her talk show. Currently, social media is encouraging people to donate to Australia so they can rebuild and prosper after these fatal flames.