Australia is finally free of bushfires… What's next?
You may have seen the amazing news that for the first time since July last year, Australia has been declared free from the terrifying bushfires that erupted over the Christmas and New Year period. As an Australian, with family and friends living in some of the affected areas, this was such a relieving thing to hear.
The fires were likely caused by a combination of lightning strikes and severe draught. Devastatingly, they destroyed over 2500 homes and tragically took the lives of 34 people and over one billion animals. At one point, the air quality in the nations capital of Canberra was recorded as the worst in the world, and the smoke that blackened the skies travelled the seas to the New Zealand glaciers and even as far as South America.
As Australia was operating the biggest peacetime evacuation in its history, men and women were travelling to the worst affected areas from all over the world. Help came in so many forms - financial donations but people too. Volunteer fire fighters and animal welfare experts amongst others, putting their lives at risk and on hold, in order to help us aussies out. If you follow Dean Schneider on instagram (@dean.schneider - his content is incredible!), you'll see that he and his team travelled across Australia, raising money and helping charities working with animals who had narrowly escaped death, but lost their natural habitat.
Over 18 million hectares of land burned during the fires. To put that in perspective that's the size of The Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium combined.
Thankfully, the rains finally arrived and put an end to the fires, which were predicted to go on for several more months.
So what happens next? Now the fires are over, we can see the full extent of the damage caused. As you can imagine, the amount of work that needs to be done isn’t small. The problems stretch far and wide, from repairing homes and agricultural systems to replanting the natural habitats of the affected wildlife.
The Ideal Sunday is only a small and recently established business but we’re hellbent on doing our bit to help out too! With every order you place we'll plant a tree through our partners at One Tree Planted, helping to get Australia back on track and keep the precious wildlife safe. We'll keep pledging our donations to Australia for as long as necessary, where then we'll help other affected areas of our planet.
You can keep up to date with where we're prioritising our efforts on our Tree Planting page here.
It's important to remember that bushfires are nothing new to Australia, but never before with such ferocity. We've never seen destruction at this scale. And sadly, it feels like a pattern that we're seeing around the world.
But that's why communities like ours are so important. I'm so proud to be standing with you, making changes to live a little more sustainably each day, so that together we can get our planet back to it's best.