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Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past month, you’ll be very aware that Australia has suffered from some of the worst bushfires ever seen. The country is no stranger to these fires, but the sheer scale, intensity and speed in which they struck across millions of acres of the continent were completely unprecedented. Australia on Fire looks at the story in more detail.
The stark news reports which showed walls of burning flames, millions of dead and injured animals, homes burnt to the ground and orange skies seen from over a 1000 miles away demonstrated this was no ordinary fire, it also made the world question whether the disaster was caused by climate change. It also leads to the question of whether these events are a glimpse of what is to come in the future.
While the focus of Australia on Fire is the catastrophic fires in Australia, it is evident that wildfires are increasing across the globe. In 2018 Sweden faced the worst fires in its history – they burnt almost double the area of the worst previous fire. And in 2018 and 2019 the United Kingdom suffered its worst fires in history – particularly the Marsden Moor in Yorkshire. While these fires are not on the same scale as the Australian ones, it is very disconcerting that across the globe there were five times as many wildfires in August 2019, in the EU there were three times as many as Australia on Fire charts the story of the terrifying and dramatic story of those battling to save Australia from these destructive fires. It includes first hand accounts from the firefighters on the front line who risked their lives to fight the flames. It also includes testimony from those who barely escaped with their lives as the fire tore down on their properties and shows drone footage that shows the extent of the damage on both the bush and residential areas Reporter Kylie Morris also examines the long term impact of the fires on the ecology and diverse animal population.
The fires claimed the lives of 27 people, burnt out over 2000 properties and destroyed over 18 million acres of land, but perhaps the most sad figure is that of the 800 million dead animals. The impact of climate change needs to be addressed if devastation such as this is to be avoided in the future.
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