DEVASTATING BUSHFIRES IN AUSTRALIA
The scene is familiar and yet something is so very different. A landscape of hills topped with thick forests of trees. Like waves the hills rise and fall into shadowy undulations, disappearing into a hazy horizon. Above the trees, plumes of smoke rise quickly, drifting towards and beyond the Pacific, some falling back to earth as thick blankets of dusty soot — choking the air. Trees once lush with foliage are blackened, incinerated and broken, some are cracked open from the heat, the insides still aglow. The fire-ravaged shells of cars conjure thoughts of some stark distant future where we have lost the battle against climate change.
But this is Australia in 2020.
Australia’s arid topographies are no strangers to fire, but what’s happening now — across a country almost the size of the USA, with scorched earth and forest covering an area the size of South Korea (25.5 million acres), and made all the worse by one of the worst droughts on record — is unprecedented.
The death toll is slowly climbing, firefighters are dying, an estimated one billion animals have been affected, and people's homes are burning down while families can only watch as their lives are consumed by vast billows of smoke and an apocalypse of flame glowing under the heat of the hottest and driest year on record.
The damage to local eco-systems is devastating, and the sheer horror that Koalas and other animals are facing is unfathomable and so extremely upsetting.