- Australia’s Bush fire – Starting the year with a pandemonium
- The principal cause of the unprecedented bushfire
- Impact on the environment and society
- Impact on the economy
Australia’s Bush fire – Starting the year with a pandemonium
For months Australia has witnessed the largest and the most devastating bushfire in its history.
Australia is among the top fire prone regions on earth and in the midst of the current dramatic state the country is in.
This report aims to investigate further the matters that create and follow the uncontrolled wildfires.
Questions like why the fires in the region are so frequent and how they manage to spread so fast, will also be attempted.
Finally what the impact will be on the ecology and economy of Australia will be provided as well as a final conclusion including our own view on the matter.
The principal cause of the unprecedented bushfire
According to many sources the bushfires are mainly caused by weather conditions.
The months between September and February in Australia are the most dangerous, as the continent is moving from spring into the summer season and dryness mixed with high temperatures become the perfect combination for a wildfire to break out.
In areas like the New South Wales for example, which has traditionally been the most vulnerable state to fires with a possibility of over 50 fires breaking out per day.
Raining in the area may not appear for 4 to 5 months while the wind on the other hand increases substantially.
For example, thunder from clouds passing through the area could become the worst case scenario and ignite the most disastrous fire at any moment.
The trees are so dry from the summer’s high temperatures that they become so vulnerable to lightning.
If a tree is struck by lightning, which according to various sources is very possible to happen a branch lit on fire could drop to the ground and in a few hours the fire starts to spread.
Furthermore, with the help of the wind depending on how strong it may be, a fire could travel 40 kilometers a day and burn everything in its way.
The stronger the winds get, the faster the fire travels and the harder it becomes for firefighters to be able to control it. The wind is not only fuel for fire but it has the ability to change the direction of a fire at any moment.
That’s the reason that dedicated personnel is assigned to monitor weather forecasts updated every single minute of the day as this could provide clues to where a fire could be heading and if the weather could help extinguish or ignite it accordingly.
Also in the case of a fire becoming extensively strong in a specific direction provides further information for firefighters as it becomes very dangerous for them to be in the front due to the speed of the fire being a potential threat to their lives.
The firefighters usually stand on the side of the fires direction where flames are usually weaker and could be dealt with easier.
Impact on the environment and society
Counting since September 2019 the bushfires in Australia are said to have killed over 20 people including three firefighters.
According to senior firefighters that have been part of the rescue teams attempting to control the fires, the happening has been the worse they have seen in over 30 years.
As per information released in 2020, more than 15 million acres have been burned so far and even though they predict that with some favorable weather conditions in the coming days, the bushfires maybe controlled, burned areas could increase even further.
Furthermore, information from Australia indicates the pollution generated so far from the bush fires is also tragically enormous and have an unprecedented effect on the environment.
Specifically in Canberra it is estimated that they have suffered some of the worst smoke pollution, with air quality rated the third worst of all major global cities on the 3rd of January.
Another sad outcome of the wildfiresis the humongousloss in wildlife.
As much as 500 million animals could have been killed as a result of the fires not only from the flames but also from a lack of food, water, shelter or choking on smoke.
So far more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged leaving thousands of people homeless and in some cases hopeless.
Moreover, pictures and videos of hurt but mostly killed animals on YouTube and news sites display further the destruction of nature leaving everyone coming across the content devastated and shocked.
Impact on the economy
Many like to make comparisons of the latest fires to the ones that took place in 2009 called the Black Saturday blazes.
The current fire has been much more devastating than the previous and the damages will most probably exceed the $4.4 billion paid back in 2009.
Another, sector that is also very sensitive to the fire’s destruction and dangers is tourism.
Australians worry that tourist chains maybe broken in 2020.
Many people depend on tourism to make money and feed their families yet if Australia misses out this year, then many families may be forced to search for other jobs.
However and on the other hand, rebuilding some of these buildings which usually leads to increased rebuilding activities, can help boost economic output in the next years.
Keeping in mind that currently Australia has 5.2% unemployment rate, this figure may fluctuate as buildings, houses, businesses are destroyed.
Bush fire disasters also damage and destroy business assets such as crops and animals, which could eventually impact the GDP if those assets don’t produce income.
The impact of the wildfires has not been determined fully yet.
Most definitely the environment of Australia, wildfires not only threaten human life and cause economic loss but also make distinctive impacts on the ecosystem.
It said that many people in Australia strongly oppose the way the government has handled the matter so far and also that the country was not adequately prepared for such a devastating blaze to break out.
Is this a matter of climate change? Is this a matter of human ignorance?
It remains to be seen.
Yet, in the age of technology and rapid information we live in, how could we missed out on such an obvious danger?
Have we been careless and foolish with the information and conclusion received from other fires that have broken out around the world like in the US (California) or in Europe (Sweden)?
Then idea here is that climate change could be getting out of hand much faster than we thought and the action to fight back might need to be taken equally fast.
Increased temperatures around the globe have led to an over drought of the forests.
Countries like Australia with vast pieces of land with Eucalyptus which are extremely sensitive to fires, are basically an easy pray for the bush fire.
The forests are so dry that the fire burns through and spreads so fast leading to so many people being evacuated and hurt.
Can 2020 be the year we turn this around? Or at least start to do so?