Half a billion animals have perished in the Australian Wildfires, a figure which is set to rise in the coming weeks.
I was born in a place called Cronulla, it’s south of Sydney, Australia. It’s not currently ablaze, but the effects of the worst wildfires seen in decades are truly being felt right across the continent.
According to the latest report on CNN (2nd January 2020) more than 900 homes have been destroyed in New South Wales alone and 17 people have died nationwide. The effect on wildlife is perhaps the most shocking. Wait for this. Half a billion animals have perished since the fire season began in September, and the number is set to rise. The native Koala population has been hardest hit, a third of the population, wiped out.
I’ve often heard people say they would love to emigrate to Australia but they’re too scared of snakes and spiders out to kill them. Who’d have thought it would be wildfires that pose the biggest threat. Air quality is dangerously low and so areas unaffected by the fire line are still in trouble.
The dry weather has made the situation worse as firefighters and volunteers work around the clock to try and stop the fires spreading. Despite international help being flown in, plus support from the Australian armed forces, the summer is just beginning and there is literally no end in sight.
It’s been a long time since I was ‘back home’. Sydney 2000 was my last jaunt as a ballsy 17 year old. I adore my home city and surrounding state and to see it ravaged in such a devastating way is sad and frightening.
My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones, their homes, businesses, possessions, everything in the fires. My thoughts and thanks to all those risking life and limb to stop any further damage and loss.
Climate change has played a real part in the fire season starting earlier and lasting longer. We all have to take action now, because it’s already too late for some.