The fires in Australia have been burning for, some of them have been burning for months.
There's been 100 to 200 fires burning at any given time in two states, Victoria and New South Wales, pretty much constantly for the past couple of months.
Some of them sparked by lightning.
Some of them sparked inadvertently by people.
Some of them intentionally by people.
But this is really due to the country having the driest year on record, the hottest year on record, hardly any rainfall when they should have had rain.
Bushfire seasons happen in Australia.
It's part of their climate.
It's part of their natural environment, similarly to how the Western U.S. often deals with wildfires each summer.
However, what's happening right now is, sort of, their bushfire season on steroids.
The long-term effects, really, this is severely affecting Australia's iconic wildlife.
We don't know exactly what the toll is on species such as the koala.
But it has been burning, fire has been burning, in ecosystems that don't normally see fire.
We've seen fires in other nature preserves, in other natural, uh, sort of the equivalent of U.S. national parks.
The tourism economy in, especially, parts of New South Wales and Victoria is taking a big hit because they're evacuating large parts of these beach towns.
That would be sort of equivalent to their version of Cape Cod, their version of the Gulf Coast.
Also, these fires are emitting huge amounts of smoke and greenhouse gases, which is going to further warm the planet.
But it's also darkening glaciers in New Zealand.
It's causing poor air quality.
This is a crisis that's going to continue in Australia.
Unfortunately, the rainy season really doesn't start for a couple months there, so hopefully the fire crews can hold things back and better contain some of these blazes.
It's important to note that the extreme heat that Australia has seen, and the extremely high wildfire danger are both consistent with what climate scientists say to expect in Australia with climate change.
It may very well be possible that the all-time heat record that Australia set and the highs in national fire danger could not have happened without man-made climate change.