Covid 19 and Bushfires: What is the Perfect Way to Cope?

By Hari Yellina
Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash

With COVID-19 concerns for future fires, Australia’s bushfire recovery agency is preparing how evacuations and other emergency support for those affected by bushfires might be done safely. The horrible summer fires that took 33 lives across the country are now known as the Black Summer fires, and it’s been a year since the start of the last bushfire season in NSW. People were crammed into evacuation centres to escape the flames in several areas, which present a dilemma when Australians are supposed to practise social distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed.

Mr Colvin, National Bushfire Recovery Agency head, stated that his agency, emergency services agencies, municipal governments, and state governments were all including COVID-19 prevention measures into their disaster plans. Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered wildfire recovery and relief operations, but its impact should not be overstated. Even though it took a little bit of time to figure out the best measure to combat both nuisances, the plan is effectively coming together. The pandemic had an impact on the economic recovery of towns affected by the fires. A snapshot in March found the economic impact was $3.2 billion across agriculture, forestry and tourism.

It is almost impossible for the nation to disaggregate COVID impacts and the bushfire damages. Since 1851, bushfires have killed over 800 people in Australia, as well as billions of animals. The 1851 Black Thursday bushfires, the 2006 December bushfires, the 1974-75 flames that burned 15% of Australia, and the 2019-20 bushfires are among the other catastrophic conflagrations. Over the last 15 million years, the increasing drying of the Australian continent has resulted in an ecology and environment prone to fire, resulting in various specialised adaptations among flora and wildlife.

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