Australia continues to recover from devastating wildfires

By Kylie O'Connor, Contributor

Months later, the world is still watching as Australia works to recover from the longstanding effects of a “mega blaze” that started from a bolt of lightning that struck New South Wales, Australia, in late October

February reports from CNN indicate that fire season is always dangerous in Australia due to the hot, dry temperatures, but this particular season is significantly worse due to one of the worst droughts occurring in decades. According to the Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, last spring was one of the driest recorded and the high wind speeds have played a large role in how quickly the fire and smoke are spreading. Even with the assistance from other countries, including the United States and volunteer firefighters it is still a losing battle.

So far, 16 million acres in New South Wales and Victoria alone have been burned as a result of the wild fires, experts have reported. Over 3,000 homes have been destroyed in NSW and 28 people have lost their lives nationwide, including the firefighters struggling to contain the blaze.

Not only are people suffering, but animals are suffering as well. Reports indicated that as of right now, an estimated 1 billion animals have been killed, and the number continues to grow. In NSW alone, one third of the koala population has died and one third of their habitat has been wiped out. Australia’s Kangaroo Island, a previous haven for wildlife was also ravaged by flames leaving many animals dead in its path.

“The federal government has also sent in military assistance like army personnel, air force craft, and navy cruisers for firefighting, search and rescue, and clean up efforts,” CNN reporter Jesse Young said in a February article.

There has been a worldwide effort to save the animals, people and environment as a whole. Even residents have risked their lives to stay in areas and rescued numerous animals from danger.

Although there are many battling the fire head on in Australia, social media has played a huge role in allowing civilians to do their part to help. An overwhelming amount of celebrities also donated in hope of making a difference. To name a few: Kylie Jenner, Serena Williams, Shawn Mendes, Chris Hemsworth, Pink, Lizzo, Selena Gomez Kim Kardashian and Ellen Degeneres.

Despite people being worried about the continuation of the fires due to Australia only being halfway through their Summer, there has been rainfall which has been a welcomed source of relief. It has helped cooled temperatures and the smoke in the air, but it is still unsure of how much longer it will be until Australia can be looking at a full recovery.