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Fighting the Wildfires in Australia

This past month has been full of devastating news, particularly headlined by the bushfires in Australia. We saw acres go up in a blaze, destroyed homes and forests, dead people and animals, and creatures looking for refuge. The internet has been flooded with images and videos of animals not knowing where to go, seeking shelter in neighborhood lawns and other unlikely places.

Even today, weeks after the biggest flames were put out, the effects of the fires are still hard to put into words. The whole world watched as the burning continued, and many countries, organizations, and individuals have sent help and donations to the victims. It’s impossible not to feel a sense of compassion from this incident.

The Bushfire in Numbers

Fighting the Wildfires in Australia

Unknown to most, these fires started as early as September of 2019. Since then, 30 people have died (four of whom were firefighters), almost 27 acres have burned (including parks and forests), and over 1.2 billion animals have perished. This week, several fires are still ongoing in New South Wales and Canberra, the country’s capital city.

Multiple communities have felt the effects of the fires. Homes were burned, which only led people closer together, bound by both fear and compassion. One can only imagine what it must have been like to live through such an extreme disaster up close. Then, to realize that everything you own and worked for has been torched down to the ground.

60 fires are still burning in NSW and Victoria today, even though rainfall and relatively cooler conditions have brought some relief to the country and its people. However, weather forecasts tell us that hotter conditions are bound to return to NSW later this week.

Around 3700 firemen - at any point in time - have been responding on the scene all throughout the country during the worst stages of the fires. The most affected areas include NSW and Victoria. Since the fires subsided, around 1,100 firemen have been on the ground, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

To put things in perspective, a typical bushfire in Australia covers around 300,000 hectares of land. This recent bushfire devastated 4.2 million hectares throughout the season. To have such resilience, patience, and hard work must be straining, but the firefighters never stopped doing their jobs. Despite their efforts, their numbers are not enough to fight the strength of the flames.

This is why the government sent in 3,000 men from the army, navy, and air force reserves to assist with search and rescue, as well as cleaning up tasks.

Putting the Fires Out

Fighting the Wildfires in Australia

The fire department used both land-based and airborne equipment and vehicles to put out the fires. Each day, there were about a hundred aircraft in the sky in New South Wales. In Victoria, there were about 60 in the air. They used large air tankers, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft to “firebomb” water down on the forests and bushes that were ablaze. They also dropped retardant from the air.

On the ground, fire trucks, bulldozers, and excavators were used to put water out, create “firebreaks”, clear debris, and move earth when needed. 

A lot of support from other countries came in, too. The US, New Zealand, and Canada sent teams and equipment to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation efforts. 

If you want to support the firefighters, soldiers, and everyone else involved in the rescue and rehabilitation missions still ongoing in Australia, here are some organizations you can send donations to:

 

#NatriSweetGivesBack

Here at NatriSweet, we believe in the power of nature. That’s why all of our products do not contain synthetic and chemical ingredients. We extract our sweeteners directly from the leaves of plants. 

Nature has been good to us. That’s why this week, we’re giving back. Ten percent of our sales will be donated to WWF Australia to assist in the rescue and care of the wildlife affected by the bushfires.

We’re also offering free shipping sitewide for the whole week, applicable to all products. By supporting our products, you’re also helping Australia, at no extra cost to you.

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/26/australian-government-adviser-urges-threatened-species-overhaul-after-bushfires

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/06/us/australian-fires-by-the-numbers-trnd/index.html