Australia is Aflame

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Australia is Aflame

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The wondrous outback home to 250 native species that is known as Australia has been ablaze for many months, having started in September of 2019.

Half a billion animals thus far have been affected by these fires, whether it be by smoke, directly burned, or the loss of habitat, including everyone’s favorite eucalyptus consuming marsupial: the koala.

We all have had our fair share of experience with fires here in California over the passing years. Still, not even we can compare to the severity and mass of these fires, seeing as Australia has now burned more than the Amazon and Califonia fires put together. The amount burned so far is 6.3 million hectares (63,000 sq km or 15.6 million acres), 25 people have died, and nearly 2,000 homes have been destroyed.

The fire its self is not the only thing causing destruction. The smoke is causing many more problems. One of the obvious things is the health hazard that comes with massive fires. Smoke can cause many different health problems, from runny noses and burning eyes to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases.

The vast amount of smoke had also risen into the sky and has created clouds, more specifically, thunder clouds. The smoke has created something known as a pyrocumulonimbus or fire cloud. It is a dense cumuliform cloud created by fire or volcanic eruptions. Clouds like these produce dry lightning (lightning without rain).

It has been typical for Australia to be hot, but over the years it just as been getting hotter and hotter. Most Australians think it is because of climate change. However Australian leaders neglect the idea and say these fires were typical. “We have had fires in Australia since time began,” Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said.

We went to go interview Mrs. Lowell and this is what she said.

Q: Do you have family still in Australia?

A: Yes I do, all my brothers and sisters live there.

Q: How are they?

A: Very well. Luckily they don’t live anywhere near the fires. Most of the fires are on the east coast and my family lives on the West Coast.

Q: How do you think Australia is going to recover after the fires?

A: I think it’s going to be really tough for some areas. A lot of wildlife is being lost and lot of homes. I think it’s going to be a tough recovery for a lot of people.

Q: What do you feel that the Australian leaders are ignoring the questions?

A: I feel kind of sad that they don’t understand that there is climate change. Australia has been in a drought for many many years, and before the fires, that area had no water to feed their animals or to grow their crops. So a lot of people from Western Australia would actually, they have would have these Farmers would get all the hay and then they would have maybe five or six truckloads that would drive from Western Australia over to the east to the farmers donate  so they can feed their animals.”

Q:What do you think is the cause of the fires?

A:I mean it is very sad, some of them were deliberately lit, and some of them were accidental. The bushland is very different than what it is here, so it burns a lot quicker with eucalyptus trees; they catch on fire very quickly, unlike here where we have redwood and stuff like that that are big their tree trunks are a lot smaller, so it spreads a lot quicker. There is a lot of area code, and a lot of people don’t understand in Australia; there’s a big distance between people, so there’s a lot of people that towns like I grew up in the middle of nowhere as my husband calls it; on a farm, but our closest neighbors were like two miles.

Q:Do you think your farm has been affected by climate change?

A:It probably has been affected by climate change a little bit but it’s really hard to know it was already and in the area where they can get a lot of water. So it’s hard to say nobody has kept track of the good years and the bad years as much to see how it’s changed a lot.”

We here at Harvest send our best wishes to all affected.