The world is horrified by the ravaging bushfires that keep devastating Australia since September. Australia may never be the same after this disaster.
The fire has a disastrous impact on humans and wildlife, and the conditions on the ground are still too overwhelming.
Many believe that the chaos is just a warning sign of the climate emergency that threatens the planet, and we have ignored it for too long.
Bushfires are common in Australia, and according to Geoscience Australia:
“Natural ecosystems have evolved with fire, and the landscape, along with its biological diversity, has been shaped by both historic and recent fires. Many of Australia’s native plants are fire-prone and very combustible while numerous species depend on fire to regenerate.
Indigenous Australians have long used fire as a land management tool and it continues to be used to clear land for agricultural purposes and to protect properties from intense, uncontrolled fires.”
Yet, in November, the nation has witnessed the most dangerous bushfire week in history, and the government declared catastrophic fire danger in the Greater Sydney region.
The flames show no signs of stopping until the present day. They have destroyed more than 16 million acres of land and killed at least 24 people and half a billion animals.
The photo of a volunteer firefighter from Eden Hills Country Fire Service and a koala watching the bushfire burning the animal’s home has gone viral.
The image was posted on the Eden Hills Country Fire Service Facebook page, and it reveals the fireman with a hose standing in front of the flames, with a koala by his side at the Lobethal vineyard, west of Adelaide.
It is undoubtedly one of the most gripping images of the bushfire crisis.
One user wrote:
‘Now that’s a moment in time. you and the koala are safe now.’
‘What a powerful photo. Thank you for sharing. And a giant thank you to all the outstanding fires tirelessly fighting the infernos. True heroes.”
Along with firefighters from all over Australia, numerous Australians have come to lend a helping hand and work hard to help them fight the bushfire crisis.
Many volunteers work together with the full-time firefighters on the front line. It has been reported that many people left their jobs to come and help, and thousands of people are doing what they can but without pay.
These people work tirelessly to contain the blazes and save people, wildlife, and property. Injured animals are provided with water and bought to veterinarian clinics and sanctuaries.
The Australian government has received lots of backlash from Australian citizens for not making this their priority.
Members of the Fire Brigade Employees Union, which represents firefighters in Australia, stated:
“[It’s] “bewildering” that the government expected volunteer firefighters to work for months on end without compensation… The firefighters are risking their lives in the face of blazes that are growing larger and more intense as the country gets hotter and drier.”
However, volunteer firefighters keep doing their best to help, and their neighbors and community have stepped out to help out their families in their absence.
Firefighters in Balmoral, a village southwest of Sydney, were driven to tears by donations that continue to fill the station.
Also, after the death of two volunteer firefighters while on duty, a member of their community organized an online fundraising initiative for the benefit of their young children.
They have raised over AUD$400,000 for the families, and are hoping to raise at least AUD$500K.