Australian firefighters are trying to control a massive wildfire that has already destroyed 40% of Fraser Island. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to rare animal species.
The fire on the world’s largest sandy island off Australia’s east coast has been raging for over six weeks. Fire captures more and more areas of the unique forests of the island. The situation will not improve. Temperatures are predicted to reach 34°C soon. A new heatwave will sweep the region, and experts fear that hotter conditions will increase the fire area.
The problem is aggravated because the vegetation on Fraser Island is parched and very easy to ignite. Now about 70% of Queensland, including the unique island, is in drought.
According to a recent report from leading national science and meteorological agencies, climate change is causing more droughts and wildfires in Australia. Experts stress that the situation will only get worse with the global rise in temperature.
Now, firefighters on Fraser Island are not only struggling with difficult weather conditions but are also stumped by limited access to a fire in the far north of the island. The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said the fire covered 74,000 hectares or 42% of the island.
Fraser Island, known for its large population of dingoes, or native wild dogs, has been declared a World Heritage Site for its rainforests, freshwater dune lakes, and a complex dunes system that is still developing.
It is also called K’gari, which translates as “paradise” in the local Buchulla tribe’s language. This picturesque place attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists a year.
Australia is still recovering from the devastating 2019-2020 wildfires that burned an area about the UK’s size, killing 33 people and leaving tens of thousands of their homes. Wildlife damage has affected people all over the world.