Fires continue to rage out of control in various parts of Australia, a direct cause of excessive heat and drought due to climate change. The annual bushfire season has greatly increased in intensity since September as the above 40ºC heatwave continues. The fires have been spreading and burning everything in their wake for months. Californians know about the devastation that climate-change-induced fires can cause – the fires in Australia are bigger than that. Environmental groups in the Amazon are trying to get the fires raging in the Amazon extinguished to save this important region that provides 2/3 of the world’s oxygen – the fires in Australia are bigger than that. While I don’t minimize the damage and suffering caused by any of these fires, the Australian fires cover at least 16 million acres (6,300,00 hectares), making this fire disaster the worst in the world in the last two years. It is estimated that half a BILLION animals have died in these raging fires. Koalas, who have had their natural habitat destroyed for years by deforestation, are now suffering destruction at an accelerated rate.
My vote for Fandango’s Who Won the Week, therefore, is the Australian firefighters who are battling the blazes day and night, risking their lives to save people and animals caught between the flames, and trying to get the fires under control for nearly two months. These firefighters are the true heroes right now in Australia!