Since June of 2019, Australia has been engulfed in flames, making this fire the worst in history with over 46 million acres burned. The cause of the fire is still unknown but is guessed to be natural causes. The growing flames have caused over 5 million dollars in property damage and have taken the lives of 29 people and over 1 billion animals. In New South Wales, the fires have consumed more land than any other fires the past 25 years, in addition to being the state’s worst wildfire season ever recorded in Australia. New South Wales also witnessed the longest continuously burning bushfire in Australia’s history, having burned more than 46 million acres, with 230 ft high flames being reported. In comparison, the California fires in 2018 consumed 2,000,000 acres and the Amazon Rainforest fires in 2019 took over 2,200,000 acres of land.
You may be thinking about how horrible this situation is in Australia and wondering how to help. Even though the continent is over 10,000 miles away there are still things you can do to improve the outcome. I asked Melissa Pearce, one of the teachers here at Cleveland and the Student Council Adviser, about how students can help. She said, “Students should research organizations if they are planning on donating. Be certain they are donating to organizations that are valid and will use the money to help.” Ms. Pearce also wants to encourage students to be aware of the problems in Australia. If you do not have the money to donate, other things you can do to support Australia include raising awareness and buying sustainable products.
If you have no idea where you want to donate or how to, Cleveland High School is planning a few things to help raise money. Environmental Club, Key Club, and Student Council are joining together to raise money to help with the Australian Wildfire Relief efforts by selling shirts and holding a raffle. All profits from the shirt and raffle ticket sales will be sent to Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Warriors. Wildlife Warriors is a non-profit organization helping the wildlife affected by the bushfires. If you want more information, listen to the morning announcements or email Melissa Pearce.