POLITICS

Wildfires In Australia Turned The Sky Blood Red

So far, blazes have burned across 14.7 million acres in Australia, and firefighters are working tirelessly to stop them.

Australia is on fire and the world is watching.

Images of red-tinted skies, smoldering foliage and people shielding themselves from smoke are emerging from the country, which is facing one of the worst fire seasons in its history.

Residents take a dip to cool down at Lake Jindabyne, under a red sky due to smoke from bushfires, in the town of Jindabyne in
Residents take a dip to cool down at Lake Jindabyne, under a red sky due to smoke from bushfires, in the town of Jindabyne in New South Wales on Jan. 4. Up to 3,000 military reservists were called up to tackle Australia's relentless bushfire crisis, as tens of thousands of residents fled their homes amid catastrophic conditions.

Firefighters are working exhaustively to contain the growing wildfires in every state in the country.

So far, blazes have burned across 14.7 million acres in Australia. In New South Wales alone, the state hit hardest this season, 150 fires ― 64 of which are still uncontained ― have burned through 8.9 million acres.

At least 18 people have died since the start of the fire season in September, reported The New York Times. Two of the victims were firefighters who were killed while fighting the blaze near Sydney in December. An NSW fire official told The Associated Press that four people in the state died while trying to flee from the fire in their cars.

Also decimated by the fire crisis: More than 1,000 homes and thousands of ― if not half a billion ― animals living in the wild. Meanwhile, record-breaking summer heat and a persistant drought continue to make matters worse. 

See what the fires look like from the ground across Australia in the photos below.

Residents look on as flames burn through bush on Jan. 4 in Lake Tabourie, Australia. A state of emergency has been declared a
Residents look on as flames burn through bush on Jan. 4 in Lake Tabourie, Australia. A state of emergency has been declared across NSW with dangerous fire conditions forecast for Saturday, as more than 140 bushfires continue to burn. There have been eight confirmed deaths in NSW since Dec. 30. Some 1,365 homes have been lost, while 3.6 million hectares have been burnt this fire season. 
A parent assures their children that fires are not headed toward the town as the skies above turn red during the day on Jan.
A parent assures their children that fires are not headed toward the town as the skies above turn red during the day on Jan. 4 in Mallacoota, Australia. Many parents with young families were unable to get their children out on the evacuation because they only allowed school-aged children and above to evacuate by boat. People in the Foreshore Caravan Park are staying through what will be a day of severe fire conditions with large fires still burning out of control to the north of the town. A change in south-westerly winds has been sparking fire activity in the area.
Beachgoers enjoy the sunset at Bondi beach during a heatwave in Sydney on Dec. 19. A state of emergency was declared in Austr
Beachgoers enjoy the sunset at Bondi beach during a heatwave in Sydney on Dec. 19. A state of emergency was declared in Australia's most populated region that day as an unprecedented heatwave fanned out-of-control bushfires, destroying homes and smothering huge areas with toxic smoke.
Danny Wearne surveys the bushfire damage to his property on Nov. 13 in Rainbow Flat, Australia.
Danny Wearne surveys the bushfire damage to his property on Nov. 13 in Rainbow Flat, Australia.
People stranded in Mallacoota, Victoria, are evacuated in the first days of January by army personnel to the HMAS Choules aft
People stranded in Mallacoota, Victoria, are evacuated in the first days of January by army personnel to the HMAS Choules after bushfires ravaged the town.
A fire rages in Bobin, 350 km north of Sydney, on Nov. 9, as firefighters try to contain dozens of out-of-control blazes ragi
A fire rages in Bobin, 350 km north of Sydney, on Nov. 9, as firefighters try to contain dozens of out-of-control blazes raging in the state of New South Wales.
A koala named Paul from Lake Innes Nature Reserve recovers from his burns in the ICU at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on
A koala named Paul from Lake Innes Nature Reserve recovers from his burns in the ICU at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on Nov. 29 in Port Macquarie, Australia.
German tourists Julia Wasmiller (left) and Jessica Pryor look on at Mrs Macquarie's chair, wearing face masks due to heavy sm
German tourists Julia Wasmiller (left) and Jessica Pryor look on at Mrs Macquarie's chair, wearing face masks due to heavy smoke on Dec. 19 in Sydney.
A bushfire burns outside a property near Taree, 350 km north of Sydney, on Nov. 12.
A bushfire burns outside a property near Taree, 350 km north of Sydney, on Nov. 12.
Burnt trees are seen after a bushfire in Mount Weison in Blue Mountains, some 120 km northwest of Sydney, on Dec. 18.
Burnt trees are seen after a bushfire in Mount Weison in Blue Mountains, some 120 km northwest of Sydney, on Dec. 18.
Kids play in the pool at a holiday park on Dec. 21 in Shoalhaven Heads, NSW, Australia. 
Kids play in the pool at a holiday park on Dec. 21 in Shoalhaven Heads, NSW, Australia. 
A long exposure picture shows a car commuting on a road as the sky turns red from smoke of the Snowy Valley bushfire on the o
A long exposure picture shows a car commuting on a road as the sky turns red from smoke of the Snowy Valley bushfire on the outskirts of Cooma on Jan. 4.
The Australia flag flies under red skies from the fires on Jan. 4 in Bruthen, Australia. Two people are dead and 28 remain mi
The Australia flag flies under red skies from the fires on Jan. 4 in Bruthen, Australia. Two people are dead and 28 remain missing following bushfires across the East Gippsland area, with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews declaring a state of disaster in the region. Thousands of people remain stranded in the coastal town of Mallacoota and are being evacuated by navy ships to Melbourne.
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