Xiake Island: where is the disaster after four months of Australian wildfire?

 Xiake Island: where is the disaster after four months of Australian wildfire?

On January 4, thousands of firefighters spent a whole day battling a raging mountain fire with strong winds, high temperatures and raging winds. Australia spent what may be the most dangerous day ever. On the same day, three wildfires converged, and about 6000 hectares of forest in Victoria alone went over the fire; in Canberra, the capital of Australia, the highest temperature was recorded at 44 u2103 in the evening. The smog is so heavy that it even reaches New Zealand, a neighboring country 2000 kilometers away - when the new day comes, New Zealand is awakened by the blood red sunrise.

Australian wildfires last for months (source: foreign media)

Mountain fire

The Australian wildfire, which started in September last year, has been burning for four months. According to the statistics of foreign media, 6 million hectares of land in Australia have been destroyed by wildfires, twice the area burned by Brazilian Amazon rainforest fire in 2019, and six times the area burned by California fire in 2018. At present, the wildfires have killed 24 people, burned 2000 houses and killed 500 million animals. Due to the hot summer, continuous heat wave and drought, a total of 25 fire sites in Victoria and New South Wales have been listed as emergency or evacuation warning level, and more than 150 fire sites in the two states continue to burn wildly, almost Purgatory.

Aerial fire (source: foreign media)

Thousands of kilometers away, New Zealands glaciers have been blackened by wildfires, while Australian authorities say it has begun to form its own meteorological system, including very dangerous conditions such as fire tornadoes and dry thunderstorms, due to the amazing heat generated by the fire. In Canberra, the capital, an island friend in front said that the air is full of burning smell, and the sky turns orange for many times, just like the end of the world; in Sydney, the power supply is threatened, and masks and air purifiers are sold out; in the suburbs, trees beside the highway are burned to the ground, and the trunk is dark.. The fire on January 4 came at the height of months when an Australian Navy ship, after 20 hours, sent hundreds of people who had taken refuge on the beach of the town of Mallacoota, Victoria, for many days to a safe place 300 miles away.

Victims take refuge on the beach (screenshot of social media)

According to the BBC, the forest fire has caused the biggest relocation in history. For those who still have to evacuate in the future, NSW fire department repeatedly issued a warning, its too late to evacuate now, please seek shelter nearby when the fire is approaching.. While people are taking refuge everywhere, Australias animal national treasures are facing a devastating crisis. It is reported that at least half of the 50000 koalas on Kangaroo Island, the third largest island in the region, have died, and many survivors have been seriously burned;

Koala and kangaroo scurry off in the fire (source: foreign media)

In northern Australia, tens of thousands of bats fell from the air in high temperatures; in New South Wales, 480 million mammals, reptiles, birds were either burned directly or died as a result of habitat loss. Today, the fires in Australia have not been put out. Professionals believe that as more and more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, the risk of bigger and more deadly fires is also increasing. At a time when the world is worried about Australia, people cant help but start to reflect on where the disaster of a mountain fire that lasts for months and has never been exhausted?


Lets talk about the side of natural disasters. At present, it is generally believed that high temperature and drought are the main causes of the wildfire in Australia for several months. Although Australia is surrounded by the sea, the humid air flow in the ocean cannot reach the inland, which makes the inland arid and semi-arid areas accounting for about 70% of the countrys land area become the natural fire point every summer. Large mountain fires are often cyclical. Its been a long time since the fire in Canberra in the mid-1990s. The trees and leaves in the forest are flourishing again, and the probability of mountain fires is very high, a friend who studies environmental science in Australia told Shimei. It is worth noting that the extreme weather in Australia caused by climate change in the past year is unprecedented.

In 2019, the annual average temperature in Australia is 1.52 u2103 higher than the average temperature of 21.8 u2103 in 1961-1990 (far higher than the last hottest year of 2013, 1.33 u2103), and the national average rainfall in 2019 is 277.63mm, far lower than the record of 314.46mm in 1902.

Precipitation in Australia from 1900 to 2019, red for 2019 (source: ABC)

According to ABC, the dipole of the Indian Oceans climate system is the possible cause of extreme high temperature: Although the Pacific Ocean remains neutral, the main driving force of climate is the extremely strong positive Indian Ocean dipole, which has been producing rising air and rainfall in East Africa, but has produced falling hot air in Australia. Several disaster experts said that the current bushfires, the early tropical forest fires and the continuous extreme drought are warning signs that the global ecosystem is far from normal.

In addition, eucalyptus is the absolute protagonist in most of the Australian forests burned by the mountain fire. From the perspective of tree species, the trees that occupy 70% of the forest area in Australia are rich in bark and leaves, which are almost unparalleled in providing combustibles. When the combustibles fall off and gather on the ground, it is also very easy to self ignite in the high temperature above 40 u2103 u3002 In addition to the natural factors, the wide and sparsely populated characteristics of Australia, the staggered distribution structure of cities and forests, also to a certain extent, lead to the fire without any obstacles. In a word, drought, extreme heat and strong wind make Australia unable to avoid the high fire incidence period of 3-5 months from the end of spring to the beginning of autumn every year. However, some people in recent years are special, which makes this period of danger prolonged and intensified.

Australian wildfire satellite map (source: foreign media)

Man-made calamity?

A total of 180 people are suspected of arson during the 2019-2020 mountain fire season, including 24 people who are suspected of deliberately setting fire, New South Wales Police said on January 6. Arsonists seek stimulation in boredom , Irrationality and ferocity, foreign media commented Different from the so-called irrational arson, the slow action of the Australian government in the face of the fire does not seem to be a surprise. According to AFP in November last year, under the circumstances that three people were killed by a two-month wildfire, the Australian authorities sent more than 1000 firefighters to fight and rescue 100 fire spots, with an average of only 13 people in each place; according to the report of itas in December last year, in order to control the fire, 76 new fire trucks and 286 firefighters have been sent out in each state, although the army is on standby, the fire-fighting capacity The quantity is still not in balance with the fire.

In terms of the composition of Australian firefighters, taking new South Wales as an example, the rural fire department and the fire rescue department are the two statutory fire departments of the state. Among them, the Fire Rescue Department is responsible for major cities, and the rural fire department is composed of more than 70000 volunteer firefighters to deal with 90% of the states land fires. Although these volunteer firefighters have been trained to some extent, they are different from full-time firefighters. In the face of the fire, they have to ask for leave from their work units and join the fire fighting operations in their own communities without pay. Since the fire in September last year, many volunteer firefighters have lost three to four months wages, and it was not until the end of December that the federal government announced a subsidy of $300 a day for this group.

Some firefighters did not estimate the fire this year, made mistakes in their actions and did not guarantee their basic income, which to a certain extent caused the initial fire out of control.

Australian firefighters are putting out the fire (source: Daily Mail)

Not enough firefighters, volunteer firefighters go to battle (source: foreign media)

Secondly, as far as the whole disaster relief system is concerned, Australias fire protection work belongs to the state governments, and the federal government is often difficult to intervene in specific issues. As a result, the coordination between States and between the federal government and states is often insufficient, which makes the fire fighting measures ineffective. However, in the wildfire, the federal governments fire-fighting propaganda film on the Liberal Partys Twitter account did not fail to win the credit, and was immediately derided as brazen advertising, which violated the basic principles of political advertising.

At the same time, Australias climate policy has swung in recent years: it did not sign the Kyoto Protocol until 2007 (once the only industrialized country outside the United States that refused to sign it). According to the BBC, Australias population only accounts for about 0.3% of the worlds total population, but its greenhouse gas emissions amount to 1.3% of the worlds total, making it one of the countries with the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Polls show that most Australians regard climate change as a serious threat and hope the government will take stronger action. However, after the current Prime Minister Morrison takes office, promoting the development, production and export of coal and oil and gas has become a key proposition of economic prosperity first.

Although emissions continue to soar, it is difficult for Australia, now governed by conservative coalitions, to reach a political consensus on its energy and climate change policies, which will be largely influenced by Australias long mining history and strong coal lobby. Of course, there is another extreme: under the control of fanatical environmentalism, some Australian authorities and organizations stop the reservation of enough fire barriers in the forest for the sake of environmental protection

A man and his dog watch their home destroyed

Rather than just blaming or lamenting the disappearance of animals, we talk more about why the fire is so big. According to the previous historical situation, how long will it continue to affect us and whether it will bring other hidden dangers? One person in front of me said that she was with the island sister. Under normal circumstances, Australias temperature will peak in January and February, which means it may take months for the country to find a way to alleviate the fire, and when it will end is still unknown. Despite claims that Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, was not powerful in real power in the fire fighting, his behavior still made local residents angry: when the sky in Australia was orange, the prime minister took his family to Hawaii for a holiday and saw a blue sky and sea.

(function() {(window. Slotbydup = window. Slotbydup| []). Push ({ID: u5811557, container: ssp_, async: true});}) (); source of this paper: Xiake Island responsibility editor: Li Chao