Community Rallies in Aftermath of Australia Fires
Updated: Sep 24
(CHARLOTTESVILLE, DAVINCI) - For 210 days unrestrained fires cleared through Australia’s southeast coast. On January 16th rain arrived, helping to extinguish some of the flames. Ben Shield, the mayor of the city of Dubbo told reporters that ‘It’s amazing what rain can do to people's spirits.’ But now that the fires are put out, what happens next?
13.3 million acres of land were destroyed and over 2,500 homes were left in ruins. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a climate scientist, said, ‘As an Australian, I’m shattered. The fires have changed Australia forever. The wrath of climate change is no longer on the horizon. It’s here.’
More than 1 billion animals were killed in the fires. Australian soldiers are going to wildlife centers to help take care of the animals that are currently residing there. They’re going to these shelters to feed animals, clean up around the centers, build spaces for them to play. 5 million dollars worth of donations have been given to support the wildlife by foreign countries. Celebrities are setting up online fundraisers and donating their money to helping Australia.
Plants in Australia have started growing in the places where the fires were the worst. Two photographers, Murray Lowe and Mary Voodwinde, went and explored Kulnura, a town in New South Wales. Voodwinde remarked that ‘I was overwhelmed in the way I saw nature just come to life after about three to four weeks. It was actually a sense of hope that I felt.’ She and Lowe took pictures of all of the plants, trees, and bushes that are regrowing. Voodwinde states that ‘There was one particular image (of a tree) which has all the charred bark on it and you can see the growth and the red bark which sits underneath it. It's almost like a shell. That to me is a powerful image because that conveys nature's resilience. In any catastrophe we build resilience. It was a message of hope.’