Yesterday, I joined 30,000 people in Sydney in protest for climate action. Over 100,000 people marched in other parts of the country.
As we took to the streets, fire was out of control in the north-east of Coonabarabran, New South Wales. Two fires in the alpine region near the NSW-Victorian border had merged (East Ournie Creek and Green Valley). They had already burned 250,000 hectares, and the threat was it could merge with a third out-of-control fire in Dunns Road (Snowy Mountains and Kosciuszko National Park). There were nine fires in the Snowy Mountains, and numerous fires in East Gippsland are classified at emergency level.
As of 10pm this evening, the tireless work of 3,300 unpaid volunteer firefighters meant that most of the 124 active bush and grass fires were under control, however, 47 of these were not yet contained.
The cases being misreported as ‘arson’ around Australia are actually mostly people violating the no fire ban. Fire fighters, police and the Victorian Premier have already dispelled arson as the cause of the bushfires.
Some people are praying for rain. These fires have been burning persistently since September. There are numerous reasons why sporadic rain can’t help; one of them being that bushfires of this severity create their own unstable weather conditions. That’s why we need climate action from our leaders.
How you can help
- Consider writing to your local members
- Keep talking about the need for urgent climate policy in public and in private with your friends and family
- Share stories of Aboriginal people and other families affected
- Donate if you can, or if you can’t afford to, share fundraisers on social media
- Join local protests
- Fight misinformation about arson and anything else that tries to dilute focus from climate change.
Funding emergency responses in the short term and decisive leadership from here on is the only way to beat this ongoing disaster.