Saturday, 4 January 2020


Isn't it bizarre how the abnormal becomes normal after a prolonged period of time?

Fires that have raged across Australia over the last two months.

The skies that are perpetually grey from ash, a red sun and the air full of smoke.

Millions of native animals that have perished, including a significant portion of koalas.

Checking the Fires Near Me app daily to see - horrifically - the extent of the fires in NSW.

I am a city dweller, living in the S of NSW that regional areas bitterly (and rightly so) complain about. NSW abbreviated for New South Wales, or as some say Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong. Although perhaps it is just the S.

The fires have burned through 5.8 million hectares in Australia thus far. We are one month into summer.

Even as a primary school kid, I could never fully grasp the size of a hectare let alone a few million. But to put that into perspective:

The Guardian has this useful map generator

Even without the fires, the drought that has gripped that state. Dams that only have 3% left. Already struggling communities where money from interstate travellers is needed, further affected by the fires as people have changed their summer travel plans.

I see the increased produce costs in the shops / markets and I can't help but think about the farmers. The stress. Their livelihoods at stake.

But to read about the fires on Kangaroo Island have recently twinged my heart a little more. Over 150 hectares has been burnt, about a quarter of the island. Kangaroo Island is my favourite place in Australia; the pristine natural environment, a bay full of sea lions, rolling sand dunes and home to a plethora of animals unique to the island. What will it look like when I return there in the future?

It is estimated that ~80% of bushfires are due to humans, accidental and intentional (x).

How will all this end? I don't know.

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