The Australia Bushfires: Why You Should Care and How You Can Help


A kangaroo, which is just one of the 244 animal species unique to Australia, hops by a burning house. (Photo via Twitter)

Stella Turner, Features Editor

Since September 2019, Australia has been burning.

Although not uncommon in the region, these Australia bushfires have reached new extremes. As of now, roughly 15 million acres have been burned. The area is approximately the same size as the entire state of Virginia, at 15.72 million acres.

The bushfires are spread throughout the country, but it’s mainly focused in New South Wales, which is the most populous of the six territories.

A map with current fires in Australia
A map showing all the current fires across the country. (Photo via

So far, at least 25 people have lost their lives, including three volunteer firefighters. 1.3 thousand houses have been fully destroyed by the bushfires, with many others severely damaged.

The fires are impacting more than just people. According to the University of Sydney, half a billion animals have been killed in New South Wales alone, including a third of the state’s koalas.

In Australia, summer is December through February, with “fire season” peaking at the end of January. While the fires have been going on for more than four months, they’re only expected to worsen as temperatures increase.

Climate change hasn’t spontaneously caused these fires, but it has had a large impact. Australia’s hottest day on record was December 18th, with a national average of 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Rising temperatures and dry conditions can increase the size and destruction of bushfires.

How you can help:

Students are just beginning to hear about the issue. “It’s really upsetting because it took a long time for a lot of people to become aware of it,” freshman Emilie Miner said. However, it’s not too late to become involved.

Below is a list of organizations that are raising money to help those affected by the Australia bushfires.