Listen: As Catastrophic Wildfires Burn, Australians Ask How to Rebuild
"Going to head to Australia today. Where an unprecedented wildfire season continues to menace S.? The country more than twenty people have died. Thousands of homes have been destroyed and millions of animals have been killed although the cost of the damage is still oh being tallied. The fires are threatening to upend the way people live well into the future to find out more. I rang up our Australia and New Zealand Bureau. Chief David winning running so David Walk me through where things currently stand. How unprecedented are the fires? So the fires have been through more than six chameleon hectares of land that is by phone away the the largest devastation that we've seen from Bouchon in terms of lives lost thankfully Kelly. This isn't as big as the Black Saturday. Bushfires a two thousand nine hundred seventy three people lost their lives in a single afternoon oversee when you have devastation on the scale you're looking at a very long recovery effort industries such as tourism will take time to macabre because many people would go to Townsville St landscape what they will encounter now landscape that you would typically say it on the front line of a war zone even just trees and buildings gutted. Yeah we've got the slide show up on our website and I've been looking at the images. The sad burned koalas the apocalyptic skies. It seems like it's another world exactly you know an particularly agricultural industries. I mean if you've got an apple blue-chip for example. It takes five years for an apple tree to get to a point where it's productive you know if you have a pine plantation and you rely on on on Kimba for your industry well that takes even longer. There's GonNa be no quick fix for this Sumani will be Australian government has promised two billion Australian dollars switches the equivalent of one point four billion. US dollars to aid the recovery effort. That's an initial sum payable over two years and they've signaled that there's more money available as needed now. These fires started much earlier than they normally do in the typical fire season months earlier in fact. Do we know what happened. Eastern Australia Elliott has experienced a three year drought last year was the hottest on record and you know the the conditions of combined to create the basis full will to break out climate change. I believe in my opinion is played. A part of the individual fires may even have been started through awesome. But it's definitely. The case of this landscape was tinder. Dry going into what we call here. The bourgeois season so is the worst over nerve the peak for season to the end of February. Still at least one and a half months to go You mentioned and climate change earlier. Hasn't Prime Minister Scott Morrison been criticized for his stance on climate change. Mr Morrison's Party represents Abboud range of communities and they include mining areas eastern Australia this one of the major hops coal mining in the world and you his policy has sought to balance the interests of farming communities mining communities in the constituencies that he also that presents yesterday when he announced the big recovery found he was all set. You know do you intend to change your policy on on climate. And he said that's not my focus right now. My focus is on on dealing with a bushfire crisis. He has however stressed his commitments to limiting carbon emissions. That Australia's May as part of the Kiet. Political so I think when the focus of the cavalry effort develops I think when morpheus get extinguished hold onto control troll. The pressure will miss the Morrison to adapt his climate policy with inquiries. I know the cost is still being calculated We have some data that says Australia's has insurance council says the two hundred sixty million dollars worth of claims have already been filed. But what is the sense of how these fires could impact life in in Australia. Going forward. You full straight as Australians themselves. You know these are the sort of existential questions. Do they feel safe going camping. Do they feel you'll save going at it in the Wilderness and for the communities that live out that initial houses in a rural area. Do you feel safe. And how valuable is your property now which you find by full of it and why would you go. Would you go into a city many of weight. Cities like Sydney and Melbourne already a congested with strain services. Assay you allowed to bat and and and these are the sort of existential questions that feel. Australians will have to answer guy food"