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Fires continue to rage across Australia

by Samantha Gobba
Posted 12/31/19, 11:35 am

Drought, record temperatures, and high winds are fueling about 100 wildfires in the Australian state of New South Wales. The fires have killed 12 people, destroyed more than 1,000 homes, and burned more than 12 million acres across Australia this year. A lightning storm with no rain on Sunday ignited 60 fires, mostly in New South Wales, though there are blazes in every state, and firefighters have contained less than half of them.

What effect are the fires having? Tourists in coastal towns gathering to celebrate the new year evacuated to beaches or boats to escape nearby fires. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week said the government would hand out $4,200 bonuses to the volunteer firefighters who “have been called out for extended periods of service.” The United States, Canada, and New Zealand have deployed firefighters to the country, and the Australian Defense Force supplied aircraft and army personnel. Sydney held its annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display despite a petition signed by more than a quarter of a million people calling for a cancellation.

Dig deeper: Read Onize Ohikere’s earlier report on the bushfires in The Sift.

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Samantha Gobba

Samantha reports on the pro-life movement for WORLD Digital.

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  • MikeD
    Posted: Tue, 12/31/2019 11:43 am

    While these fires are certainly a disaster, will they eventually provide a benefit? Many of our American forest fires have returned new growth and beauty to the burned out landscpes. In many cases, this is because of seeds that are germinated by heat. Forest managers sometimes allow unintentional fires to progress specifically to enable more of this. Has it been too soon to determine if there will be a similar result in Australia?

  • JerryM
    Posted: Tue, 12/31/2019 04:23 pm

    We live in Australia and hear more news about these fires from relatives in Canada than from actual news sources in Australia.  It is to the point that we feel the news of Australian bushfires is being hyped up in Canadian media. 

    Don't get us wrong, these fires are bad and there have been some tragic stories.  However, as confirmed by our native Aussie freinds, they are a way of life down under and they were certainly not as alarmed as our relatives were made to feel in Canada.