Will the extent of the devastating Australian bushfires ever be known?

One Australian landscape after the devastating bushfires.Eleven days after the first bushfire of the New Year started, many areas of south-east Australia continue to burn. 

What has surprised everyone is the extent and how wide-spread the fires continue to be. 

The bushfire in the Coonabarabran region is the most destructive fire in NSW for more than a decade. While a new 25,000-hectare blaze is threatening Gippsland in Victoria.

While many homes have been destroyed, to date the human loss has been minimal however, one life is still one too many.  For many individuals, families and communities, dealing with the aftermath is now becoming a reality – to date 100s homes, farms and 1000s if livestock have been destroyed in New South Wales and Tasmania alone.  

The International Fund for Animal Welfare has been liaising with rescuers who are reporting low numbers of injured animals.

Collectively we can only conclude that the wildlife in the affected areas managed to escape, or more likely were incinerated. 

The death toll and impact on wildlife populations will never been fully known. 

In some instances the animals that have survived may be the only hope of populations recovering.

While fires are still active, rescuers are prohibited to access to the fire ground for their own safety.

IFAW remains in contact with the authorities and local groups and is on hand to offer assistance.

-- JS

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