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The Lasting Effects of the Australian Wildfires

The Lasting Effects of the Australian Wildfires

Two weeks ago the Australian wildfires were trending across all social media and news platforms causing global concern, not only regarding the damage of Australia’s land but also how the wildfires could possibly affect the entire world. Although the fires started an important discussion about climate change and the severity of protecting the planet, the dialogue was quickly forgotten. It seems that with every major fire or natural disaster, whether it is in California or Australia, the world only cares about the issue while it is happening and once it stops everyone assumes that the damage caused is a temporary matter. In this case, specifically, Australia’s fires damaged an entire ecosystem affecting wildlife, plants, air quality, and homes. While social media and news coverage have strayed away from the fires, it does not mean that the entire issue has been solved.

Why Australia’s Wildfires Are Still Important

Like any other areas that experience incredibly dry heat, Australia is prone to annual wildfires. Due to their consistency, the Australian environment, including wildlife and plant life, have become accustomed to the changing climate. The severity of this year’s wildfire was completely unexpected. Its uncontrollable nature caused a shock within the ecosystem and many animals found themselves stuck in the middle of it. There were many cases on social media, where Australian locals attempted to save as many animals as they could, but once the wildfires were controlled, it was reported that over half a billion animals were killed. The loss of this much wildlife itself combined with the demolished plant life changes everything about the ecosystem. It will take an innumerable amount of years for the environment to repair itself naturally, so what remains must adapt to the new land, making it more difficult to find sustenance or they will find a new home altogether. In general, what has happened in Australia may be the beginning of a course of events that could possibly happen around the world. An article from NBC states, “ ‘If you look at places like Portugal and Spain, they are seeing fires during the year when they didn’t historically see them,’ Stevens-Rumann said. ‘In California, it’s hard to find a month where there isn’t a bad fire. This is one of those big concerns with climate change, that these fires are going to continue to be an issue’ ”. 

While the fires in Australia have been controlled, the event itself has sparked a question on when this will happen again and what people should do to prepare for it. The growing rate of the planet’s climate has presented itself in many uncontrollable wildfires throughout the past couple of years, and there is uncertainty in whether this season’s fires are done. Although the attention on this, once trending, issue has died down, it is still important to keep in mind that even with the much-needed relief efforts that have been donated for the environment’s rehabilitation, it will take decades for it to become what it once was and even then it may never be exactly the same. 

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