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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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy