What is the current state of Australia

Bush fires Australia: current situation, travel advice & information

The Bush fires in Australia were on everyone's lips at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020. Many media reported regularly and titles like "Australia is on fire" or "Down Under is on fire" were not uncommon. These statements led, understandably, to many tourists asking themselves whether it would be sensible or even dangerous to travel to the 5th continent. For Australia itself, a decline in the number of tourists has very serious consequences, as the country is heavily dependent on tourism, which shapes both everyday and business life for many people.

Therefore, in this article we would like to explain exactly whether a trip to Australia is actually not advisable, whether and which regions are or were affected at all and how such bushfires can occur.

 

Current situation & travel advice: End of the bush fires!

Here you will find all the important information about the current situation and receive important travel information that will help you plan your trip to Australia carefree.

 

Important update: fire extinguished since the beginning of February

Fortunately, the weather in Down Under has changed for a long time and the long-awaited rains have come. Temperatures have also dropped significantly. The fires have now been extinguished and there is no longer any need to worry!

Many travelers asked themselves during and immediately after the bushfires whether one should travel to Australia at all. Even if the media looked like the entire country was on fire, it should be noted that this was not the case. Many maps with fire directories that can be found or found on the Internet are "misleading" according to the Tagesschau. It is also important to know that almost all regions that are of great interest to tourists were not at all or only partially affected by the bushfires.

Note: Before you start your journey, you can check the websites listed below in order to be well informed about the subject of bush fires and to see what the current situation is in which region.

 

Current information on the risk of bush fires in various regions

Regional updates are always updated on the following websites:

There is also a 'Bushfire Information Hotline', which can be reached on site in Australia at the following telephone number:

 

Conclusion

The months when the risk of bush fires is highest are December to February (dry summer time). The bushfires have been extinguished and tourists can start their planned trip to Australia without any problems! Nevertheless, it is of course advisable to take a look at the links of the regions listed above in order to always be up to date.

Note: In addition to donations, it is more important than ever for the Australians that the tourists do not stay away and help to normalize the currently difficult everyday life.

 

Down under & climate change

Climate change is undoubtedly a major contributing factor to Australia's bushfires. For this reason, the Australian government is now under great pressure to tackle this important issue from scratch. While the government has been pursuing very climate-unfriendly policies for many years, countless people are now taking to the streets demonstrating for a change of course in climate policy.

In any case, it is clear that the phenomena of climate change and the risk of fire are directly related. Climate change is causing temperatures to rise and the rate of evaporation is increasing. In addition, there is a decline in precipitation. The water level of lakes and rivers is sinking; often to the point of dehydration. The consequences are water shortages and drought. In addition to the immediate danger of scarcity of drinking water and the negative consequences for agriculture (intensive livestock farming in particular consumes large amounts of water), there is a particular risk of fire from the bush fires in Australia. They are favored by dried out soils and plants and fanned by hot winds.

When we talk about climate change, we usually mean global warming, the consequences of which are already clearly visible in Down Under. Climate change or global warming is the term used to describe the increase in the average temperature of the nearby atmosphere and oceans. In doing so, reference is made to the past, present and assumed future temperature values. According to scientific knowledge, the increase in the natural greenhouse effect through human influence is responsible for climate change. This manifests itself in the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, as well as intensive agriculture and livestock farming. This releases the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO²) and methane into the atmosphere and reduces the heat radiation into space. With 80 percent energy generation from coal, deforestation of the natural vegetation and intensive livestock farming, Down Under contributes its part to climate change. The consequences that are already visible today are severe water shortages and devastating bush fires.

 

Bushfire Risk & Fire Danger Rating

With the exception of the rainforests, bushfires occur almost everywhere in Australia. Contrary to expectations, they occur most frequently in the relatively humid south-east and less frequently in arid central Australia. The reasons for this are the irregular rainfall and the frequent droughts in the southeast. Large fires occur here approx. Every 3 - 10 years, in the southwest every 10 - 20 years and in the rest of the country approx. Every 20 years. This destroys between 4 and 10 percent of the country's area every year. Experts assume that the occurrence of bush fires will increase due to climate change. In addition to spontaneous combustion (e.g. lightning strikes), they are also triggered by human inattention. In many parts of the country, open fires are strictly forbidden in nature. Violations are punished with severe penalties.

Note: The so-called "Fire Danger Rating" is indicated in endangered regions by means of a sign so that all travelers and residents can see how high the current risk of a bush fire is in the particular region.

 

Problem of lack of water

Water shortage is an acute problem for the red continent. South and central Australia are particularly affected, but there is also water shortage in the rest of the country. In addition to supplying people with drinking water, agriculture must also be supplied with water. Intensive livestock farming in particular requires large amounts of water. Everywhere in Down Under there are signs that indicate a lack of water. Laws and prohibitions that were issued to save water (e.g. it is forbidden to refill the pool as often as you like and to wash the car at home) have not improved the situation significantly. The Australian government wants to get the problem of water shortages under control with seawater desalination plants. Environmentalists criticize the fact that the desalination plants run on coal-fired electricity, which promotes climate change, which in turn leads to water shortages.

 

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