Australia Wildfire (2019-20): Will burn for months, Said officials | Latest News | Videos & Photos |
- by Tanupriya
- Jan 09, 2020 12:14
Millions of acres have been torched and entire homes have been swallowed by flames. More than 20 people have lost their lives. About half a billion animals have been killed in New South Wales by one estimate. And the country's summer is only just beginning.
Along with a series of pictures published on his Facebook, Australian politician Leon Bignell called the reality of the fires "ugly."
AUSTRALIA WILDFIRE 2019: Millions of Animals Died, Acres Burned
About 480 million animals have died across New South Wales, professor Chris Dickman with the University of Sydney, estimates. "The true mortality is likely to be substantially higher than those estimated," the university said in a statement.
Almost a third of koalas in New South Wales may have been killed in the fires, and a third of their habitat has been destroyed, said Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
In December, the smoke in Sydney was so bad that air quality measured 11 times the "hazardous" level.
In total, more than 14.7 million acres have been burned across the country's six states. That's larger than the countries of Belgium and Haiti combined.
Just in New South Wales, there have been more than 1,300 houses destroyed and 8.9 million acres scorched.
Fire officials in New South Wales said Monday morning that 69 fires remained uncontained, with a total of 136 fires in the state. The fires will continue to burn for months to come, officials say. But the bushfires have exacted a staggering environmental toll.
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