Australian bushfires could become megafire

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

forest fire
Trees are often left smoking after the yearly Australian bushfires pass through.

Australia is burning, and things just might get worse if the dozens of bushfires come together to form a megafire. This might sound like a doomsday situation, as the smoke blows dramatically over the city of Sydney, but Aussies are no strangers to bushfires.

While the loss of homes, and sometimes life, is tragic, the brave firefighters are well-equipped to handle the flames.

Stuart Midgely, a New South Wales Rural Fire Service incident controller, explains, “The fuel bed is very, very dry. We’ve had a series of high wind, high temperature, low humidity days. That causes fires to run quite hard. For instance, the fire that started last Thursday ran 35 kilometers in one day.”

Talk about a runaway blaze! However, Midgely is already thinking ahead. Crews are working together to “get containment lines in as deep as we can before that bad weather comes back and potentially blows the fires back up again.”

Unfortunately, the sixty-two fires are spreading around New South Wales, where one in three Australians live. More than 200 homes have already been ruined, and 14 of the blazes are out of control. Standing courageously against these wild natural forces, 1,000 firefighters are trying their very best to defeat the inferno that’s already devoured 287,000 acres (an area just about as big as Los Angeles!).

Don’t hold your breath for watery clouds gushing their rains on the fires either, because Midgely says, “We are not expecting any meaningful rainfall to be of any benefit across any of the current fire grounds.” Hopefully, this natural disaster can eventually be snuffed out like the Yosemite fire earlier this year.

Featured image courtesy of Gerald Simmons on Flickr. Image of smoking forest courtesy of Chai Sabz on Flickr.