Devastating fires in Australia

Devastating fires in Australia

Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Australia is currently being consumed by the worst wildfires seen in decades. The massive fires are believed to be generated by natural causes including lightning strikes in drought-affected forests.

Mr. Scobee, the 7th grade Social Studies teacher, stated, “I am aware of the devastating fires ravaging Australia. It is all over social media, newscasts, and feeds. I don’t think many people are taking it seriously except for those who live there. It is almost being treated as “sensational” news.”

When interviewed about what can be done to help the situation in Australia, he replied, “Financially is the only way that I could potentially help. There is a long history of terrible fires that have tormented Australia so this isn’t something new. The primary cause of the fire is dry lightning which unfortunately cannot be prevented.”

 He added, “As for the animals, the only thing that can be done is to give them medical attention and release them into areas of Australia that are not affected by the fire.”

PETER PARKS/GETTY IMAGES

While many celebrities and famous figures have talked about this event, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, P!nk, and Rihanna, thousands of families are still without a home. A fundraiser by Australian comedian Celeste Barber has raised more than $32 million (about $46 million Australian dollars) for wildfire relief. Another fundraiser has collected more than $3 million for WIRES Wildlife Rescue, while a third has raised more than $1 million for The Trustee For Country Fire Authority & Brigades Donations Fund.

As of January 22nd, at least 28 people have died and more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. It is also determined that 1 billion animals are now estimated dead in Australia’s fires, specifically massive amounts of kangaroos and koalas.