Fire Down Under: Australia’s Wildfire Crisis

The state of New South Wales in Australia has been in a state of emergency after experiencing the hottest September in history. Thousands of acres of grassland and homes have been engulfed in flames brought on by severe heat and drought.

At one point, as many as 60 bushfires were raging across the Australian continent. There were fears whether or not the Australian Fire Service could contain the multiple fires and prevent them from spreading into one “megafire” which could engulf the major city of Sydney.

Several Australians have died in the fires in the past two weeks; including two men that while battling flames near their homes were overwhelmed and a pilot for the Fire Service that crashed south of Sydney.

Currently there are still 55 fires burning nationwide but a majority of them have been contained by firefighters. With the weather changing rapidly, the severity of the effects vary by day.

Two-thirds of Australia’s population resides in the state of New South Wales along with most of the Australian economic infrastructure. With new outbreaks of fire each day, the Australian government will have their hands full.