Australia is being ravaged by the worst wildfires seen in decades with large parts of the country devastated since the fire season began in late July. At least 28 people have died nationwide, and in the state of New South Wales (NSW) alone, more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged.
Fire season in Australia is always dangerous. The 2009 fires killed 173 people, making it the deadliest bushfire disaster on record. But conditions have been unusually severe this year, fanning the flames and making firefighting conditions particularly difficult.
Experts say climate change has worsened the scope and impact of natural disasters like fires and floods .The weather conditions are more extreme and for years the fires have been starting earlier in Australia and spreading with greater intensity.
In total, more than 7.3 million hectares (17.9 million acres) have been burned across Australia, an area larger than the countries of Belgium and Denmark combined. The worst-affected state is New South Wales, with more than 12.1 million acres burned. In NSW, the country’s most populated state, where 1,588 homes have been destroyed and over 650 damaged.
According to the University of Sydney, it is estimated that 480 million of wild animals have been affected by the unprecedent bushfires. Many have died directly from the flames, smoke, or heat, and many more died or will die as a result of losing their homes and sources of food.
According to an interesting article by @Matt McGrath – Enviromental correspondent at BBC News, UK Scientists say that “The recent fires in Australia are a taste of what the world will experience as temperatures rise.”
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