The 2019/2020 bushfire season (starting in September and going into its fourth month now) has been so horrific that it’s gained international attention, with aid and firefighters arriving from all over the globe. Keeping up to date with bushfire coverage is overwhelming, so here’s our summary of the current bushfire stats.
— Luke McCrone (@luke_mccrone) January 4, 2020
Bushfire Stats: Death Tolls
The current death toll stands at 25 people as of January 9th, several of which were firefighters.
1.25 billion animals are feared to have been killed, and there’s deep concerns that entire species were been wiped out because of the size of habitats that were burnt to the ground. Some ecologists even suggest that 1.25 billion is a modest guest, and that it’s very possible that the real amount is larger.
This is Patrick Boyle. Since the fire has passed through Mallacoota this amazing, selfless young guy has been out searching for injured wildlife. This is one of 7 #koalas he’s saved so far. The world needs more Patrick’s. #AustraliaOnFire pic.twitter.com/a2XjJKw90f
— Igor Radchenko (@igor_radd) January 5, 2020
Bushfire Stats: Land Damage and Forced Evacuations
Over 10 million hectares of land have been burnt. To put that into perspective, the horrific Black Saturday fires that consumed the lives of nearly 200 people burnt 450,000 hectares of land – only 4.5% of what has been burnt this season.
There have been thousands upon thousands of people evacuated, and almost 2000 homes burnt down.
Bushfire Stats: The Smoke
Mind-blowing view of explosive wildfires in southeast Australia on Saturday.
Rampant pyrocumulus forming within the smoke plumes. pic.twitter.com/McKwtH55y3
— Dakota Smith (@weatherdak) January 4, 2020
The smoke in Australia has been record breaking. There were times where air quality in Australia was the worst in the world – China was previously worst with an air index of over 500 (over 200 is hazardous), when Australia took the lead with air quality ranging on an index of 1000-2000. A woman died from breathing the toxic air in Canberra.
The smoke has been so bad that it’s settled in New Zealand and turned the sky there orange. The smoke spread all the way to South America. It’s estimated that it will likely circumnavigate the entire planet.
How To Cope
Obviously, these stats are terrifying and awful in a lot of ways. While they’re really confronting and devastating, it’s important to be well informed on what’s going on – that way, we can act accordingly when we need to. It’s easy to give into the anxiety of it all, but try being proactive to ease the struggle. There’s heaps of fundraisers you can donate money to (try here, here or here), plus you can donate other items like clothes and food, or volunteer to pack donations or feed firefighters.
— REGINA SORENSEN (@BBreggie) January 3, 2020
Another way to cope with these fires is to remind yourself there’s good out there, too. Check out these feel good stories that show the amazing heroism that’s coming out of this tragedy.
For days Patrick Boyle has been rescuing some of the smallest fire victims, with his trusty dog Spike by his side. #9ACA‘s @MimiRoseBecker joined him on one of his rescue missions. pic.twitter.com/nUYv0mJUv7
— A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) January 7, 2020
A group of people have gone around Kangaroo Island collecting as many koalas as they can find to help relocate and rehabilitate them. What champions! 🐨 💙 pic.twitter.com/n7YWIjRMrm
— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) January 7, 2020
— Foodbank Victoria (@FoodbankVic) January 4, 2020
Tonight (Friday the 10th of January), at 5.30pm in every capital city in Australia, people will be gathering in their respective cities to protest the fires and government inaction, which would also be a great thing to attend if you’re feeling frustrated about the inaction around fires.
Image Sources: Twitter