In Australia, summer is generally a time to be outside and enjoy the warm weather. However, this year was different, as the once sunny sky became hazy with smoke from the continent’s constant wildfires.
At the time, Sophomore pre-business major Bradley Porcellato said the fires surrounded neighbor towns and at one point risked spreading to his community in New South Wales, Australia.
“It just didn’t feel like summer,” he said.
Porcellato is from Melbourne Australia and returned home after final exams to smoke. He heard about it from social media and shared information online, even ways for people to donate to relief efforts. He spoke to his family about the fires and they said it didn’t affect their area.
“Even though my area wasn’t affected, the mountains and bush area near where I live was affected,” Porcellato said.
While his home was not affected by the wildfires, Porcellato recalled smelling smoke as it moved over the city.
“Even if we just walked down the backyard we could smell the smoke,” he said.
While moving houses over break, Porcellato remembered selling a couch to a woman who was affected by the wildfires.
“She was telling us the reason why she was buying the couch was because her old house was in the fires,” Porcellato said.
Australia bushfires have affected mostly New South Wales around Sydney and the coast, but the smoke continues to move towards other areas including Melbourne. At least 24 people and millions of animals died from the wildfires, according to Time. According to air-quality.com map and website, the air quality in Australia has been deemed “unhealthy” in certain areas, including Canberra and around Sydney. As a result, people have been told to stay indoors and many events such as the annual Australian tennis tournament Australian Open has been postponed due to the smoke.
Donations and volunteers have helped contain the wildfires according to Porcellato.
“It’s good to see people helping,” he said.