Australian Bushfires - Summer of Fire


The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season, known as the black summer, began with several serious uncontrolled fires during the middle of the Australian winter in June 2019, becoming the most devastating fire season on record. Throughout the summer, hundreds of fires burnt, destroying anestimated 18.6 million hectares (46 million acres; 186,000 square kilometres) of land - the size of South Korea - and destroyed over 5,900 buildings, killing at least 34 people. An estimated one billion animals have been killed driving some endangered species to extinction.


Years of below-average rainfall and record heat put the countries forests and lands under stress, with many citing Climate Change as the cause of the unprecedented fires. Australian summers are now effectively twice as long as it’s winters, as climate change has increased temperatures and also reduced rainfall causing long term draughts.


Many residents and businesses impacted by the fires are still waiting for insurance payouts, while coronavirus-linked travel restrictions has meant many affected areas will not see the much needed influx of spenders to shore up their struggling economies.


In March 2020 it was announced that the bush fire season was finally over, bringing an end to over 240 days of fires. 

TUMBARUMBA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 11, 2020: A farmer watches as the New South Wales 'Mega' fire, which measures 1.5 million acres, approaches the outskirts of the small town of Tumbarumba in the Snowy Mountains, on 11 January 2019.
Rural Fire Service, RFS, volunteer firefighters watch as the New South Wales 'Mega' fire, which measures 1.5 million acres, approaches the outskirts of the small town of Tumbarumba, NSW, in the Snowy Mountains, on 11 January.
TUMBARUMBA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 11, 2020: A Rural Fire Service truck makes its way back from the fire front of the New South Wales 'Mega' fire on the outskirts of the small town of Tumbarumba in the Snowy Mountains, NSW.
TUMBARUMBA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12, 2020: Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighters discuss how to contain the approaching fire on the outskirts of the small town of Tumbarumba in the Snowy Mountains, on 12 January 2019.
The New South Wales 'Mega' fire, which measures 1.5 million acres, burns at night in the Snowy Mountains. Since blazes broke out in September, Australia has seen unprecedented bushfires destroying over 15 million acres.
NUMERELLA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 13, 2020: Tony Weston, 62, a Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter sprays trees on fire on the outskirts of the small town of Numerella in New South Wales, on 13 January 2019.
TUMBARUMBA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 11, 2020: A Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter takes a break fighting the 'megafire' on the outskirts of the small town of Tumbarumba in the Snowy Mountains, on 11 January 2019.
Tony Weston, 62, a Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter, Numerella in New South Wales, on 13 January 2019. Since blazes broke out in September, Australia has seen unprecedented bushfires destroying over 15 million acres.
NUMERELLA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 14, 2020: A weary Rural Fire Service volunteer firefighter, takes a break fighting the bushfire on the outskirts of the small town of Numerella in New South Wales, on 14 January 2019.
TUMBARUMBA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12, 2020: Trees smoulder after fire has passed through it on the outskirts of the small town of Tumbarumba in the Snowy Mountains, NSW, 12 January 2019.
QUAAMA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 8, 2020: A horse wanders in burnt out bushland near Quaama, NSW, after its owners abandoned the property. Since blazes broke out in September, Australia has seen unprecedented bushfires destroying over 15 million acres
VERONA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 9, 2020: Farran Terlich stands over one of his dead cows as he examines the devastation of the bushfires that ripped through his farm in Verona NSW. He estimates he has lost at least $1million to the fire and was un-insured.
Farmer Kevin Allen, 68, stands by the remains of his house which was destroyed by bushfire on the outskirts of the small town of Cobargo in New South Wales, on 17 January 2019.
WANDELLA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 16, 2020: Ron and Gloria Corby comfort each other after surveying the remains of their house which they built themselves 35 years ago on the outskirts of the small town of Cobargo in New South Wales, on 16 January 2019.
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