Australian Bushfires Devastate Continent

In September of 2019, Australia faced the driest season in recorded history after a drought that started in 2017. Just a month later in October, the bushfire season that usually serves to clear out dead vegetation and promote new growth spiralled out of control, growing to engulf the entire Eastern coast of Australia by mid-December. In early January of 2020, the fires had been raging for nearly six months and Australian Premier Daniel Andrews declared a nation-wide state of disaster. As of January 13th, 2020, 28 people have died as a direct result of the fires and an estimated more than 500 million wild animals have been killed. One of the species especially affected by the blazes has been the Australian Koala — already an endangered species on track for extinction by 2050 before the fires. According to Australian ecologist Stuart Blanch, between one quarter and one half of Australia’s koala population could have perished in the current bushfire season. To help relief efforts, donate to the Australian Red Cross Society at


By Julianna Baldo

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