Photo: BusinessInsider.com
13 Aug 2018

Catastrophic wildfire situation in California and worst drought in 50 years in Australia

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- 30 000 firefighters fighting over a hundred wildfires in the US - Australia is killing off their kangaroo population in worst dry period in 50 years

The number of large terrain fires raging in the United States has now risen to over a hundred.  Heavy thunderstorms striking lighting into the bone dry land makes the situation worse, according to authorities.

Over 30,000 firefighters - including reinforcement staff from Australia and New Zealand - where it is winter now - has been fighting against the US wildfires. A total of about 6,500 square kilometers (650,000 hectares / 1,6 million acres) has been destroyed already.

The worst kind of storms, those with a lot of lightning but only little rain, are expected in northwestern United States and other already heavily exposed areas.

"We are expecting more fires to develop," says Jeremy Grams at the Weather Service NWS´ storm center in Oklahoma.

The fires rage in several parts of the country, from the state of Washington in the north to New Mexico and California to the south.

In northern California, eight people died in connection with major fires. Among the victims is a woman and her two grandchildren, and a mechanic who assisted the fire service. In the same fire, more than 1 100 homes have been destroyed by the fire.

About 160 kilometers southwest of there, 3 500 firemen are currently fighting against California's single largest wildfire ever, ravaging over 1 300 square kilometers of land (130,000 hectares / 321,000 acres).

 

Dead kangaroo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 

Worst winter drought in 50 years in Australia 

During the Souther hemisphere winter, parts of Australia have suffered from historic a drought - something that is  now costing many kangaroos their lives.

It started with the hanging of kangaroos invaded the Australian capital of Canberra. The animals were looking for food, ranging from sports fields to villages, CNN reports Social media was quickly filled with pictures of the kangaroo eating the little green grass that remained.

But the cute animals quickly became a concern.

This week, the authorities announced that the drought in the south-eastern state of New South Wales, Australia's most populous, is the worst in over 50 years, according to the news agency AP.

Much of the crops have been destroyed and little food is left for the wildlife. To solve the problem, the state has decided to allow residents to kill off as many kangaroos they want.

Photos (Cover photo above) by BusinessInsider.com.

Photo of dead kangaroo (roadkill) by Wikimedia Commons