Asked by Kitty Schaden Australia Natural DisastersWildfiresAustralia
How did the Australia fires start?
January 07, 2020 8:44PM
According to Diana Bernstein, climate scientist and Assistant Research Professor in the Division of Marine Science at the University of Southern Mississippi: “Apart from human activities, Australia’s hot and dry summers are to blame for the start and the spread of the wildfires."
Although the region knows to expect a fire season, these most recent fires have been worse than most. This is because Australia is currently experiencing its worst drought in decades as well as a heatwave that broke the record for the highest nationwide average temperature in December. These elements combined have caused the fires to spread more rapidly than usual. Many experts also reference climate change as a contributing factor, as the increasingly extreme weather conditions are taking their toll on an already at-risk area.
There is also the human element—there have already been 24 people charged with deliberately starting bushfires this season.