Environment Natural Disasters Australia Wracked by Terrible Firestorms By Shea Gunther Writer University of New Hampshire Rochester Institute of Technology University of Southern Maine Shea Gunther is a writer, entrepreneur, and podcaster living in Portland, Maine. He covers topics such as renewable energy, climate change, and nature. our editorial process Shea Gunther Updated December 31, 2019 Fires raged in Australia, despite rains. (Photo: Phillip Capper/Flickr) Share Twitter Pinterest Email Environment Planet Earth Climate Crisis Pollution Recycling & Waste Natural Disasters Transportation Australia was the victim of a terrible series of fires that authorities now believe to have been set by arsonists. Thousands had to literally flee their homes for their lives when fast moving walls of fire tore into yards and neighborhoods. Nearly 1,000 homes were burned, 181 people died (sadly that number is exected to rise), and thousands remain displaced, living in shelters and tent cities. Entire towns have been burned off the map and nearly a million acres stand black and charred as the fire rages on. Australia has been the scene for a record busting drought that has produced over a decade of well below average rainfall, a drought that many attribute to global warming. Global warming didn't set the fires, but it may have helped produced weather patterns that helped turn the country into a tinderbox. You can donate to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire fund here. You can follow the news at The Daily Telegraph, Sky News Australia, and ABC News (their ABC, not ours).