While bushfires are a regular springtime occurrence in Australia, record-breaking hot and dry meteorological patterns are among the factors contributing to their current unprecedented scale and intensity.
To date, at least 27 people and an estimated 1.25 billion animals have died due to this season’s bushfires, and over 72300 sq km/18 million acres of land have been destroyed.
In many parts of the country, mobile telephone and Internet service has been intermittent during the crisis. This has made it difficult for many to receive evacuation warnings, and has challenged rescue efforts.
Haze from the fires has been visible from as far away as Auckland, New Zealand, approximately 2150km/1300mi southeast of Sydney.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s coverage of the bushfire crisis is free of charge to all online readers.
How you can help communities affected by Australia bushfires:
Givit Disaster and Emergency Recovery Service: Current campaigns
Red Cross Disaster Relief: Australia
Save the Children: Australia: Bushfire Emergency
St. Vincent de Paul Society: Vinnies Bushfire Appeal
How you can help animals affected by Australia bushfires:
World Wildlife Federation: Help Save Koalas
Written by Erin Fitzgerald, GMS, Content Manager
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