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.