the amazon rainforest wildfires burned 900,000 hectares of land

the australian bushfires have been going since august and have burned over 5,900,000 hectares, and are still going

on january 1st 2020, a blanket of smoke from the australian fires covered new zealand (the blue outline on the left). the smoke tinted glaciers brown, the sky turned orange and residents reported smelling smoke.

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mallacoota, victoria, two days ago. it's 9:20am, and the sky is pitch black. the sun is not visible - the glow in the upper left is from a light. it's 50 degrees celsius (122F). 4,000 people are gathered on the beach, trying to avoid the fires.

(source: reddit.com/r/australia/comment)

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up until recently, the volunteer firefighters were unpaid. there are not enough firefighters to control the bushfires, so many have left their jobs to try to save lives.

the morrison government announced that firefighters would be paid up to $300 per day for their service, totalling at $6000. twenty days.

there are 18 confirmed deaths and 17 known missing people. over 1500 homes have been destroyed. over 4,800,000 animals have died, including 30% of new south wales' koala population. two volunteer firefighters have died. all while prime minister scott morrison was holidaying in hawaii.

note that the data in the image is outdated - the figures have since gotten much worse.

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these two photos of the mid-north coast of australia were taken one week apart

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@lynnesbian This is wild, and kinda sad to see. When a fire is that big and that widespread, I can see how it would be difficult to handle.I wonder how long it will continue. Will this be the new normal for Australia, like it is in California?

@gerowen the australian fires have been going since august and have burned almost double the amount of the past eighteen years of californian fires

current estimates are that the fires will continue until at least march

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@lynnesbian At that size I can't imagine they can even get physically close enough to fight them to begin with. Their only options for a fire that large would be to cut massive fire breaks and let it burn itself out, hoping a spark doesn't jump the break, or use aircraft to drop something on it from above, and even then they'd have to get high enough to avoid being cooked and hope that the water or powder didn't burn up or evaporate before it even got to the fire.

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