Australia was the victim of a terrible series of fires that authorities now believe to have been set by arsonists. Thousands had to literally flee their homes for their lives when fast moving walls of fire tore into yards and neighborhoods. Nearly 1,000 homes were burned, 181 people died (sadly that number is exected to rise), and thousands remain displaced, living in shelters and tent cities.

Entire towns have been burned off the map and nearly a million acres stand black and charred as the fire rages on.

Australia has been the scene for a record busting drought that has produced over a decade of well below average rainfall, a drought that many attribute to global warming. Global warming didn't set the fires, but it may have helped produced weather patterns that helped turn the country into a tinderbox.

You can donate to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire fund here.

You can follow the news at The Daily Telegraph, Sky News Australia, and ABC News (their ABC, not ours).

Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Australia wracked by terrible firestorms
Authorities now believe that the monster wildfires sweeping Australia were set by arsonists.