It’s Australia’s First Big Blaze of the Fire Season. How Bad Will the Summer Get?
Last year, the country suffered catastrophic wildfires. Now, it is watching as a scenic getaway burns. What the rest of the season brings may depend on heat waves, winds and dried-out grass.
The first major blaze of Australia’s wildfire season has now blackened roughly half of Fraser Island, an idyllic getaway north of Brisbane renowned for its golden beaches and lush biodiversity.
With evacuation orders reaching residents on Monday, Australians who had hoped there wasn’t much more to burn after last year’s colossal fires are now grappling with a brutal reminder: In a vast country that is fire-prone and especially vulnerable to climate change, the risk of record-breaking infernos never goes away.
In fact, it keeps increasing.
“I’m sure it’s hit home for us, as it has for everyone watching,” said Jack Worcester, 34, whose family owns Cathedrals on Fraser, a campground that was recently evacuated. “There’s no such thing as a normal for a fire season now — any fire season can be a quite serious one.”
By this time last year, dried-out forests outside Sydney had been burning for weeks, blanketing the city’s skies with an orange-gray haze…
2020: A Year of Natural Hazard in Review
What happened in 2020?
2020, without a doubt, has been a shock for everyone. Despite dealing with the ramifications of a global pandemic, the nation was hit with one natural disaster after the next. Our critical infrastructure and first responders have been put to the test by hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires as the world was simultaneously urged to stay home and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. To review the hazard events of 2020 is to revisit a year of hardship and challenges for many. With so much going on in the headlines, it may be useful to jog our memory on all of the catastrophic weather events that have happened this year…