More Than 70 Fires In Australia Are Now Described As Out Of Control

More than 135 fires are still burning across New South Wales, and Australian authorities say almost 70 of those blazes are out of control. Two people have been reported missing in remote parts of the region, while across the country there have been 24 fatalities and close to two thousand homes destroyed as the bush fires torch millions of hectares. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government is committing an extra $2-billion dollars to help communities recover from the cataclysmic wildfires. That’s in addition to the tens of millions of dollars that have already been committed. Morrison says the funds are an initial investment, and if more is needed, it will be provided. The Prime Minister also suggested the military is attempting to get food, fuel and water to burned-out communities, and engineers are working to reopen roads and resupply evacuation centres. While rain and cooler temperatures over the weekend did help some flame-threatened communities, officials have warned the rain won’t put out the largest and most dangerous blazes before conditions deteriorate again.

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Nearly 200 fires are still burning across the entire country of Australia, with smoke spreading across thousands of miles — affecting places as far as New Zealand, where ash has turned glaciers yellow. More than 15 million acres of land has been scorched — 7x the 2019 Amazon fires and 3x the 2018 California fires. The death toll has climbed to at least 24 people and more than 1,200 homes have been destroyed. It's estimated that 8000 koalas (one third of the koala population in New South Wales) have been killed –– a figure that is feared to be even higher as the fires continue. Due to their slow movement, koalas are more at risk as they’re unable to escape the flames. These are the devastating effects of anthropogenic climate change. This is the slaughter of life, the destruction of nature and the loss of hope. Let’s make 2020 the year that we stand up for the climate. It’s time to speak up for the voiceless and take action for what is right. Thankfully, conditions are beginning to ease as firefighters are gaining control over several dangerous fires. The awareness shared through social media has helped raise tens of millions of dollars, money which will help aid first responders and animal rescuers to do all they can to put an end to this nightmare. Links to donate: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade www.cfa.vic.gov.au www.givit.org.au www.cfsfoundation.org.au www.redcross.org.au www.koalahospital.org.au Photos by @anthony_hearsey #globetravelpix

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Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan