The Truth Behind Australia’s Wildfires


Over the past two years, starting in 2019, mass wildfires have struck Australia, deploying devastation in their path.  Entire forests, communities, homes, buildings, farmland preserves, and other infrastructure have been destroyed. 80% of The Blue Mountains, an immense mountain range located in New South Wales was scorched along with 53% of the vast Gondwana rainforest in Queensland. Australia’s wildlife has been subject to the effects of the wildfires as well. At least 480 million animals have been killed due to the fires and deforestation that has occurred. Bushfires have been common in Australia’s past, yet they have rarely ever lasted this long and been as large-scale. It may lead you to wonder — What exactly is causing these extensive wildfires?


Wildfires Explained

The disastrous consequences of the bushfires were originally linked to smaller-scale natural causes. Throughout Australia, lightning strikes and widespread droughts attributed to the start of many fires in the Victoria region. More surprisingly, in other regions, Australian citizens are creating these bushfires! In NSW, 24 Australians started bushfires. Even mice have been blamed for starting fires across Australia. Millions of mice have been roaming through the continent of Australia and as these mice grow in numbers and lose food supply, they begin to rely on inedible resources for food. Across Australia in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, mice are eating through wires connected to the electricity supply, which has sparked fires. 


Although these other causes are notable and have started wildfires, they were not the sole cause of them. The role that climate change and global warming play in inciting these fires is much larger. The conditions in Australia with its regularly warmer, drought-producing climate, were only exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Risks of widespread wildfires increased by at least 30 percent from before 1900 due to climate change and researchers say this is not the full effect of climate change on these bushfires! Despite it’s incredible impact, Climate Change is not always acknowledged as a considerable element of these wildfires.


Why is Climate Change not always recognized as a major cause of the wildfires?

Benjamin M. Sanderson, a researcher at the European Center for Research and Advanced Training in Scientific Computing in France, believes there is a lack of connections drawn between climate and fire. The point he makes directly correlates with the lack of public and political recognition of climate change in relation to wildfires. Sanderson goes on to say that most climate models today fail to portray the severity of human involvement in climate change which contributes to the little association between climate and fires. 


More awareness is necessary in regards to the relationship between humans and natural disasters, such as the wildfires, as there is a lack of understanding. In order to prevent further damage to the earth and the continuation of the significant wildfires, it’s key that the scientifically proven human activity in climate change and wildfires is recognized!



Brzezinski, Kaylee. “Australia Bushfires: Cause, Impact, and Restoration.” One Tree Planted, 27 Dec. 2019,

Yeung, Jessie. “What You Need to Know about Australia’s Deadly Wildfires.” CNN, Cable News Network, 14 Jan. 2020,,the%20time%2C%20like%20lightning%20strikes%20in%20drought-affected%20forests., Center for Disaster Philanthropy, 9 Sept. 2019,

 Brown, Lee. “Plague of ‘Cannibal Mice’ Blamed for Fires, Diseases across Australia.” New York Post, 27 May 2021, 11:02am,

Fountain, Henry. “Climate Change Affected Australia’s Wildfires, Scientists Confirm.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Mar. 2020,