Carleton Experiences Devastation Of Australia’s Wildfires First Hand
The Australian wildfires have devastated the country. An astounding 12-million acres have been burned, and there continues to be over 100 active wildfires burning in the country.
The devastation will have long last ecological impacts, and has destroyed thousands of homes, and claimed 18 lives.
Amidst this turmoil, Chatham’s Bridget Carleton has had a unique vantage to the struggles in Australia, as she is living and playing in Australia with the WNBL’s Townsville Fire.
“Obviously the fires in Australia are a huge concern for the country right now,” Carleton told CKSN. “It is so sad to see how many lives are being affected, especially in the Southern part of the country.”
Carleton is far from the fires herself, but the impact is still being felt across the country.
“Where I am located in Queensland, it hasn’t been a huge problem, but everyone around the country is aware of how devastating the situation is.”
While Carleton is located safely away from the wildfires, other basketball players, including her Team Canada women’s teammate Kia Nurse, are much closer.
“One of my good friends and national team teammates, Kia Nurse, is playing in Canberra. They had to cancel their WNBL game this weekend because the air quality around the city was so bad. The fires are obviously a huge problem, but the smoke it is creating is affecting hundreds of thousands of people.”
Nurse, who is also a WNBA star will donate $5 for every point her team scores in their next five games toward relief efforts.
For Australia, the problem is far from over, as the fires are not under control, and the country’s always dangerous wildfire season is only midway through.
Although the country is undergoing challenges, Carleton, who also plays for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, has said her experience in Australia, and the people of the country have been incredible.
“Australia has been awesome. The people have been super welcoming and friendly,” Carleton said. “They love my accent. It’s fun being able to get my workouts in and then head to the beach. I really am living the dream.”
Townsville has 6 games remaining in their 2019-2020 schedule.