With that trip at the start of August, the Carr Fire & Mendocino Complex Fires of California (Mid July to August 2018) were very much on my radar. Amazing how things like that always seem to perk one's interest when they directly could affect you. Due to our travels, we were never in harm's way, nor did we see any of that national disaster (as it was deemed August 4, 2018 in Norther California). The Mendocino Complex fire burned more than 459,000 acres of land, making it a California record holder as the single-largest recorded fire.
Again, I count my blessings that we were totally exempt from any of that at the time. Living on the East Coast of the United States, we were even farther removed, tho certainly saddened by the injury and loss of landscape, animal life, businesses, and more from these fires.
Likewise, for this environmentalist, it was yet again a signal that climate change was indeed a real thing, and these natural disasters were only further evidence of a planet in danger.
Fast forward to January 2020. This simple infographic, amidst the news of Australia's current wildfires, caused me to stop dead in my tracks. Wildfires that raged for a long time before they made national news, at least here in Mainstream USA. The same for the Amazonian wildfires, and I still don't recall the Siberian fires making news on my TV channels.
- New York Magazine's "Global Apathy Toward the Fires in Australia Is a Scary Portent for the Future" by David Wallace-Wells (December 31, 2019) ~ This article details much of what I've mentioned above--how the fires have raged on for months, yet it took a long time to get mainstream attention. How climate change issues are often a secondary (or tertiary) news item, how climate deniers strike it up as unrelated or even fake news, and how horrific situations become normalized. (Take mass gun violence, for instance.)
- New York Time's "‘It’s an Atomic Bomb’: Australia Deploys Military as Fires Spread" by Livia Albeck-Ripka, Isabella Kwai, Thomas Fuller, and Jamie Tarabay (January 4, 2020) ~ This article details the Australian military deployment to tackle the fire--a deployment in size which hasn't been seen since WWII.
- CNET's "Australian Bushfires: Everything We Know and How You Can Help by Jackson Ryan (January 3, 2020) ~ Just as the title describes, this article gives a lot of the specific and logistical issues of the fire. At the end, the article lists nearly 30 ways you can help, including links to organizations where you can directly donate.