Bushfires: What’s happening in Australia right now and why are there so many Australian fires?

Find out more and what you can do to help below...

There are massive bushfires burning across Australia right now.

It’s so unusual that many states have declared an emergency, including New South Wales, which is where most people live.

Temperatures above 40ΒΊC and strong winds have made it more difficult to fight the fires.

It’s proving especially difficult as smaller fires join together to create what’s known as a ‘mega blaze’.

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What’s the damage?

Around 10,000 emergency personnel have been sent to tackle the fires and firefighters from other countries have been sent to help also.

Since September, Australia’s bushfire emergency has destroyed thousands of houses and lots of wildlife.

At least 27 people have died and the fires have destroyed an area equivalent to the size of Iceland.

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Why is this happening?

Like the fires that happened in the Amazon Rainforest in 2018, lots of people are blaming climate change as their cause.

Climate change is the long term alteration in Earth’s weather patterns caused by human activity.

Climate change can lead to increased temperatures in some places and more extreme weather.

Not only have these bush fires have followed a dry winter in Australia, meaning everything is able to catch fire a lot more easily than it ordinarily would, but high temperatures and strong winds have worsened the problem.

Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, has been criticised for not doing enough on the climate and said that we are still a long way from fixing the crisis.

The fires have sparked protests across the world, urging governments to take action on the climate crisis.

How can I help?

Lots of charities are grouping together to help solve the crisis. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s charity Earth Alliance has formed the Australia Wildfire Fund, donating $3 million US dollars.

Meanwhile, the WWF have opened an Australian appeal also and will be using donations in a similar way to their Amazon appeal.

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