Australia bushfires that razed 1 million hectares spark anger over tame climate change policies

Four people have died from the fires.

Ashley Tan | November 18, 2019, 10:52 AM

The majority of communities in east and northeast Australia have been terrorised by intense bushfires, and many have attributed its ignition to climate change.

Fires claimed lives and razed homes

The bushfires have been raging out of control in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland since September 2019.

While Australia is typically prone to bushfires in the warmer spring and summer months, the recent and ongoing bushfires have thus far been the most intense on record.

In NSW, a record-breaking 17 emergency warnings were issued, and the blazes given a "catastrophic" fire rating by the NSW Rural Fire Service, reported

The rating represents the highest level of bushfire danger.

Thus far, about one million hectares of forest and land have been razed and around 367 homes destroyed.

The blazes have also claimed the lives of four people.

The fires have also caused hundreds of schools to close and widespread evacuations, reported BBC.

In the meantime, towns and suburbs in the vicinity have been blanketed by thick smoke.

Government dismissing climate change

The devastation wrought by the fires have sparked anger over Australia's tame climate change policies.

With 2017 and 2018 being the third and fourth-hottest years on record, many local residents have attributed the bushfires to climate change, reported BBC.

Meanwhile, Australia's conservative government is leading a crackdown on environmental activism against the coal sector.

The country's prime minister Scott Morrison was criticised recently for refusing to address the problem of climate change and relate it to the ongoing bushfires, AFP reported.

Deputy prime minister Michael McCormack also dismissed locals' climate change concerns on live radio as the "ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies".

McCormack stated that what the country should be focusing on was the plight of the victims.

Additionally, a coalition of former fire chiefs alleged that the government was ignoring their warnings that the climate crisis was exacerbating bushfires.

According to The Guardian, the coalition stated that they had been attempting to set up a meeting with Morrison since April this year as they "knew a bushfire crisis was coming", but had instead been locked out of discussions and forbidden from mentioning climate change.

Conditions expected to worsen

Emergency crews and firefighters are currently still working to contain and douse over 130 blazes around the country, Reuters reported.

And conditions are expected to worsen.

A heatwave was forecasted for the coming week, and with the area expected to receive little rainfall, fire chiefs warned that the conflagrations could last for weeks or even months.

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Top photo from @reketic98 / Twitter