This year’s record winter heat and low rainfall has not only led to severe drought, it has prompted many areas around Queensland, NSW and Victoria to announce their earliest total fire ban in history.
In mid-August, firefighters battled hundreds of bushfires in all three states, raising concern among rural fire services about the fire season ahead. Bushfires are known for the destruction they cause to forests, Australian homes and communities. However, not enough emphasis is made about how they impact human health.
Extreme fire weather has increased in Australia during the past 30 years, and modelling of weather projections show increasingly hot and dry conditions over the coming decades. This will result in more frequent and severe bushfires, which will devastate regional communities on a regular basis.
Man-made climate control is contributing to higher global temperatures and changes in weather patterns. Rather than ignoring the root cause of this issue, Australia should be taking more drastic measures to decrease reliance on fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy.
If we immediately make the switch towards a more sustainable future, we give ourselves the best chance of reducing the severe consequences of the changing Earth.
The health of our farmers, firefighters, rural communities – frankly every Australian resident – depends on it.