What you need to know about the Australia wildfires

Story by Nicole Haberek, Staff Writer and Editor

During the past few months, Australia has experienced record-breaking high temperatures and droughts that have caused wildfires to break out all across the country. As of right now, about 10 million hectares (a hectare measures approximately 2.5 acres) of forests and bush have been burned, 28 people have died including four firefighters, and there are countless animals that have been killed or are in great danger.

The fires have hit the hardest in New South Wales, where it has affected more than five million hectares. It has also hit very hard in Victoria where there are around 20 fires burning. The military has sent in troops, ships, and aircraft to help with efforts to fight off the fires.

There are an estimated 25,000 koalas that have been killed. There have also been tens of thousands of farm animals that have been killed in the fires. 

A major problem that has come out of the fires is smoke pollution and poor air quality. Black carbon has been detected 7,000 miles from the fires, spreading across the country and the oceans. 

Though it can be very difficult, there are many ways to help victims of these fires. The Australian Red Cross is accepting donations of money, clothing and household goods. There are also places that are assisting in rescuing and helping animals affected such as the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital that has set up a GoFundMe to help search for koalas. There are also celebrities that are setting up GoFundMe accounts and other fundraisers. 

There are many ways for people to help but spreading awareness for the fires and also for climate change is also helping a great deal.