If you've seen the news lately you may have noticed that about 1/3rd of the east coast of Australia is either on fire, has been on fire or is about to be on fire. We're in the midst of an emergency that has never been as far spread as it is today.
A bit of background: Australia regularly has bushfires (wild fires I think is the term Americans use), we're one of the driest inhabited continents in the world, most years we have some bushfires and they are usually handled without loss of life or property. Some years we've had truly devastating fires where many lives have been lost. This "season" at least 20 people have lost their lives, 30 are unaccounted for in Victoria and several others are unaccounted for in a few of the other states.
There are more than 140 fires burning across New South Wales (where Sydney is), over 50 in Victoria, 20 in South Australia, 30+ in Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania. Over 15 million acres have burned with more burning all the time. The smoke from the fires is visible from space and causing haze in New Zealand more than 1600kms away!
To put it in perspective, the California wildfires in 2018 burned less than 2 million acres. The main road between Western Australia and South Australia is currently cut off and there are towns where people can not get out.
For many years I covered weather, astronomical events and bushfires for a newspaper here in Australia, it really took a toll on me mentally and I had to stop for my own mental health. I can only imagine what the fire fighters are going through. I've posted a few of my photos from that period of time.
I have been making donations towards the recovery, support for the people affected as well as the volunteer fire fighters. Any funds that are raised with this post through your votes will be donated directly to the recovery as well.
I've purposely avoided political commentary about these fires, I'd prefer you did the same in the comments, I really am not in the mood for arguments and the such.
If you would like to donate towards the recovery, there are some options outlined here:
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All photos posted are copyright Paul Pichugin unless otherwise stated.