[441] The vice.com website wrote "Research conducted by the Queensland University of Technology showed that Twitter accounts with the characteristics of bots or trolls were spreading disinformation about the responsibility of arsonists and Greens. [456][421][390][420], On 24 January, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons announced a state memorial for people impacted by the bushfires in New South Wales, which was held on 23 February at Sydney Olympic Park. Several other countries have offered assistance: Australia is one of the most fire-prone countries on earth, and bushfires form part of the natural cycle of its landscapes. [366], The Government of Papua New Guinea offered to send 1,000 military and other personnel to Australia to assist with the response to the bushfires. The small community of Caparra lost fourteen homes in a few hours as the bushfire continued towards the small village of Bobin, where numerous homes and the Bobin Public School were destroyed in the fire. [472] Morrison was further criticised for a "donate" button on a Liberal Party website page which misleadingly led to a donations page for the Liberal Party itself, rather than bushfire relief; the button was later removed. [405] In October 2019 David Littleproud, the Australian Minister for Water Resources, stated that he "totally accepts" the link between climate change and drought in Australia, as someone who has experienced it first hand. As a result, there has been higher-than-average rainfall and floods in eastern Africa and droughts in south-east Asia and Australia. So Is the Disinformation Campaign", "Police contradict claims spread online exaggerating arson's role in Australian bushfires", "Jodi McKay says the NSW firefighting budget is facing a $40 million cut. [85] An investigation is underway by the ATSB to determine the cause of the accident. The State of Emergency declared in Canberra gives extra power and resources to fire authorities, allowing them to force evacuations if necessary. A number of maps giving an exaggerated impression of Australia's fires went viral online, and were published by major news outlets. [270] Lesser known is that about 117 million hectares (290 million acres), or 15 per cent of Australia's land mass, experienced fire in the summer of 1974–5. [79][80] As temperatures reached 49 °C (120 °F), the New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian called a fresh seven-day state of emergency with effect from 9 am on 3 January 2020. [359] The team was the first international specialist animal rescuers to arrive[360] and included vets, animal management officers as well as animal disaster and technical animal rescue experts. [37] Reinforcements from all over Australia were called in to assist fighting the fires and relieve exhausted local crews in New South Wales. Bernard Lagan, Sydney . [115][117] In the week preceding 10 February 2020, a wide band of heavy rain swept through most of coastal New South Wales, extinguishing a significant number of fires; it left 33 active fires, of which five were uncontrolled, all located in the Bega Valley and Snowy Mountains regions. Fraser Island bushfire burns on multiple fronts as South Australia faces extreme fire risk Published: 14 Nov 2020 Fraser Island bushfire: residents urged to leave amid out-of-control blaze Residents in Bawley Point,[162] Kioloa, Depot Beach, Pebbly Beach, Durras North and Pretty Beach were told to either evacuate to Batemans Bay or Ulladulla or stay to protect their property. [305], Despite the substantial loss of property and loss of life, firefighters have so far[when?] The response of volunteer organisations and charities was also considerable, with WIRES Wildlife Rescue working to rescue and treat injured wildlife,[318] Rapid Relief Team Australia raising money for victims, providing meals for firefighters and assisting with two bulk water tankers,[319] Team Rubicon Australia providing debris removal and helping with the cleanup of fire affected areas,[320][321] the Animal Welfare League fundraising and assisting injured animals,[322][323] and St John Ambulance Australia and Australian Red Cross providing support at evacuation centres across New South Wales. [481] The Royal Commission’s report was presented to the Governor-General on 28 October 2020 and published on 30 October 2020. [250][251] The first death directly linked to the poor air quality was also recorded on 2 January. [354], Over fifty New Zealanders were deployed to Australia in both direct fire fighting and support roles. Dickman's calculation had been based on highly conservative estimates and the actual mortality would therefore be higher. The fire caused significant damage, severely damaging the Selwyn Snow Resort, destroying structures in the town of Cabramurra and almost completely destroying the heritage-listed precinct (and birthplace of skiing in Australia) of Kiandra. [439][440] An opinion piece for The Conversation website stated "In the first week of 2020, hashtag #ArsonEmergency became the focal point of a new online narrative surrounding the bushfire crisis. [511] A telethon conducted with the Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks raised more than A$2 million. [475][476] A number of organisations raised objections to the commission of inquiry, citing cost, length and the emotionally exhausting process;[477] and that previous inquiries had failed to implement many of their recommendations. [52] The Illawarra and Greater Hunter areas also experienced catastrophic fire dangers, and so did other parts of the state, including the already fire ravaged parts of northern New South Wales. As of 6 January 2020[update], all are still without power. [115] Twelve local government areas started the Bush Fire Danger Period two months early, on 1 August 2019,[116] and nine more started on 17 August 2019. [38], On 4 January 2020, following a meeting of the National Security Committee, the Morrison Government announced a compulsory call-out of Army Reserve brigades to deploy up to 3,000 reserve personnel full-time to assist with in the Operation. [514][515], Multiple media outlets reported that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) received 86 reports of bushfire-related scams. Mongabay spoke with Cheyne Flanagan from the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to discuss the marsupial’s current status in the aftermath of the Australian bushfires. As a result, all coastal regions suffer from forest fires. On the same days both the Gospers Mountain fire and the Grose Valley fire moved towards Kurrajong. On 19 December 2019, the fire continued east towards the Hume Highway (resulting in its closure for several hours), impacting the township of Yanderra. [509] Australian stars who were playing in the 2019–20 NBA season collectively donated in excess of A$1 million;[495] and Lewis Hamilton, a Formula One driver, donated US$500,000. Police and bushfire services (and some journalists) have contradicted this claim [...] We’ve observed both troll and bot accounts spouting disinformation regarding the bushfires on Twitter." Firefighters undertook backburning around the town whilst helicopters and fixed wing aircraft worked to control the spread of the fire. And summer is far from over. [204], On 7 September 2019 multiple out of control blazes threatened townships across south-eastern and northern Queensland, destroying eleven houses in Beechmont, seven houses in Stanthorpe, and one house at Mareeba. As of 6 December 2019[update], this fire burnt more than 12,000 hectares (29,653 acres),[126] destroying numerous homes and claiming the lives of three people. [216] It destroyed at least eleven homes and burnt approximately 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres). Some sources are reporting 48 homes lost in Queensland. [437] Giovanni Torre wrote for The Telegraph that "Australia's bushfire crisis has led to what appears to be a deliberate misinformation campaign started by climate-change deniers claiming arson is the primary cause of the ongoing fires... Social media accounts, including Donald Trump Jr's Twitter account, circulated the false claim that 183 people had been arrested for arson during the Australian fire crisis..."[438] 183 people were subject to legal action, but only 24 for "deliberately-lit bushfires". By 15 December 2019, the Gospers Mountain fire had grown to 350,000 hectares (860,000 acres), making it the biggest forest fire in Australian history. The Currowan fire had merged with the Tianjara fire in the Morton National Park to the south west of Nowra; and the Charleys Forest fire had grown along the fire's western flank; and on the fire's southern flank, the fire had merged with the Clyde Mountain fire.[163]. The fire destroyed numerous houses and buildings in this area, and then jumped the Bells Line of Road into the Grose Valley.[137]. [273] While the carbon emitted by the fires would normally be reabsorbed by forest regrowth, this would take decades and might not happen at all if prolonged drought has damaged the ability of forests to fully regrow. "[417], The NSW Bushfire Inquiry into the causes of the fires published their findings in August 2020. [416] The chief executive of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia said bushfire preparations had been "stymied" by the federal government, because "there are people within government who firmly believe there is no such thing as climate change or that human beings don't have an impact upon it, and they are adamant that no extra work or extra effort should ever happen because they don't believe in climate change. Victoria, where fires have burned 1.2 million hectares, extended a "state of disaster" for the worst-hit areas from 2 to 11 January. [298], At the Budj Bim heritage areas in Victoria the Gunditjmara people reported that when they inspected the site after fires moved across it, they found ancient channels and ponds that were newly visible after the fires burned much of the vegetation off the landscape. Due to the extreme isolation of the area and rugged inaccessible terrain, firefighters struggled to contain the fires as they began to spread through the dense bushland. [285], Ecologists feared some endangered species were driven to extinction by the fires. Ukraine's Foreign Minister also noted that "The fires in Australia have not left the Ukrainians indifferent.". [396], A likely contributor to the bushfire crisis was the ongoing drought in eastern Australia – the most severe on record for some fire affected areas. [458] These criticisms also applied to New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services David Elliot, who went for a holiday in Europe. [324][325], On 4 January 2020 Architects Assist was established, representing over 600 Australian architecture firms providing their services pro bono to the individuals and communities affected by the bushfires (together with approximately 1500 architecture student volunteers).[326][327][328]. [495][505], Tennis players, led by Nick Kyrgios, pledged to donate money for every ace served during the Australian summer of tennis. "[499][500] Metallica donated A$750,000; and donations of A$500,000 were received from Nicole Kidman and her husband, Keith Urban,[501] Kylie and Danii Minogue and their family,[502] and Bette Midler. [128][129], At Dingo Tops National Park a small fire that started in the vicinity of Rumba Dump Fire Trail burned down the ranges and impacted the small communities of Caparra and Bobin. An image taken over the same area … [282], Prof. Chris Dickman, a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science from the University of Sydney, estimated on 8 January 2020 that more than one billion animals were killed by bushfires in Australia; while more than 800 million animals perished in New South Wales. Chief Minister Andrew Barr described the fire as the biggest threat to Canberra since the 2003 Canberra bushfires. [citation needed] As of 2 January 2020[update], the Currowan fire was burning between Batemans Bay in the south, Nowra in the north, and east of Braidwood in the west. [119], On 6 September 2019, the northern parts of the state experienced extreme fire dangers. Once fires have started, other areas are at risk, with embers blown by the wind causing blazes to spread to new areas. [495], Corporate organisations to make donations or pledges included the Seven Group and Kerry Stokes' private investment firm, ACE Capital Equity, a combined total of A$10 million;[496] Tim Cook from Apple, an undisclosed amount;[497] the NAB and News Corp Australia, A$5 million each; Coles Group, A$4 million (of which A$3 million was in gift cards); the Australian Football League, A$2.5 million; BHP, A$2 million; Westpac and Woolworths, A$1.5 million each; Facebook, A$1.25 million; and Amazon, the ANZ Bank, the Atlassian Foundation, the Commonwealth Bank,[g] Orica, Qantas, and Rio Tinto, A$1 million each;[495] and Canva and the San Diego Zoo, A$500,000 each. A state of disaster was declared for East Gippsland. © 2020 BBC. This caused panels of art to fracture and fall off the huge boulders that contain the galleries of art. The Australian Defence Force was mobilised to provide air support to the firefighting effort and to provide manpower and logistical support. 6 months on, I'm yet to find any", "The Darwinian horror behind the 'Galapagos of Australia, "Bushfires bring 'apocalypse' to Kangaroo Island", "Wildfires Have Absolutely Ravaged Australia's Cherished Kangaroo Island", "Are Australia's koalas going extinct? A large fire near Swansea also burnt over 4,000 hectares (9,900 acres). On 1 December 2019 WWF-Australia launched the "Towards Two Billion Trees" plan to aid the koala bushfire recovery. [346], On 6 January, French President Emmanuel Macron stated he could help out with the bushfires. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. [478][479] On 20 February 2020, Morrison released the letters patent confirming the establishment of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, chaired by Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Retd), a former Chief of the Australian Defence Force, and supported by the Hon. [339] On 8 January 2020, Prince Charles issued a video message expressing his despair at the "appalling horror" of the fires. Humans are sometimes to blame for starting the fires, but they are also often sparked by natural causes, such as lightning striking dry vegetation. Kristy McBain, the Bega Valley shire council mayor, said more than 400 properties and homes had been lost after 34 days of fire activity in the area. [224], Another emergency warning was issued on 3 January for a fire near Kersbrook. In eastern and north-eastern Victoria large areas of forest burnt out of control for four weeks before the fires emerged from the forests in late December. Back burning operations were put in place to save Kurrajong and surrounds and to save all Blue Mountains towns from Katoomba to Winmalee. At its largest extent, the warning area overlapped with areas that a few days earlier had been in warnings for the Cudlee Creek fire. At least 80 percent of the Blue MountainsWorld Heritage area in NSW and 53 percent of the Gondwana world heritage rainforests in Queensland (QLD) were burned. A second team of four arrived on 13 January. [41][84] It was one of eleven large air tankers brought to Australia for the fire season from Canada and US. Andrews said that the rains could bring new dangers for firefighters, including landslides. [390][391][392][393], The major cause of ignition of fires during the 2019–20 fire crisis in NSW and Victoria is reported to be lightning strikes. In an attempt to protect the Blue Mountains from the Gospers Mountain bushfire, firefighters commenced a large backburn on 14 December in the Mount Wilson and Mount Irvine areas. ", "Opinion: The last thing we need is another bushfire royal commission", "Why Shane Fitzsimmons is cold on a royal commission into bushfires", "National Royal Commission into Black Summer bushfires established", "Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements", "Independent Investigation into Fire Season", "Inquiry into Victoria's bushfire season has already begun", "Victoria announces inquiry into bushfire crisis as Morrison flags royal commission", "Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced an independent expert inquiry into the 2019–20 bushfire season", "Recovering from the bushfires: 13 Mar 2020", "Bushfire donations near $500 million as watchdogs put charities on notice", "Public Attitudes to Bushfire Fundraising", "Andrew Forrest clarifies climate change stance after $70 million bushfire donation", "James Packer to donate $5m to Australia's bushfire crisis", "Queen, Alice Cooper, Olivia Newton-John lead Fire Fight bushfire relief concert line-up", "Seven Group Holdings, ACE announce $10 million bushfire relief donation", "Billionaire philanthropists, Apple donate to bushfire emergency response", "Chris Hemsworth announces giant bushfire donation", "I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires", "P!nk pledges $500,000 toward Australian bushfire crisis relief", "Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are donating $500,000 to help fight bushfires in Australia", "Australia bushfires: Kylie Minogue donates $500,000 to firefighting efforts", "Australian bushfires: Stars donate to fires devastating the country", "Wiggles bushfire relief reunion concerts sell out in five minutes", "Fire Fight Australia: Live updates from the concert", "Support floods in as more cricket stars pledge backing for fire efforts", "Warne's baggy green cap sold for more than $1 million", "Australian fires: Lewis Hamilton pledges more than £380,000 to aid fight against disaster", "Celeste Barber breaks world record as staggering bushfire donation total revealed", "ABC New Year's Eve coverage: Hosts make big bang worth it", "YouTuber JackSepticEye raises $200,000 in under four hours for Australian fires", "F1 Delta Time Sells Australia Edition 2020 for 51 ETH in Charity Auction", "F1 Delta Time auctions Australia Edition 2020 car to support bushfire recovery charities", "How Australians can protect themselves from bushfire appeal scammers", "Australia bushfire donations: Generous Aussies warned of increase in scammers", "Counting the cost of the bushfires: Australia's summer of dread", How heat and drought turned Australia into a tinderbox, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2019–20_Australian_bushfire_season&oldid=995472123, 2020s in the Australian Capital Territory, Articles with dead external links from March 2020, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from May 2020, Articles with self-published sources from January 2020, Articles with dead external links from January 2020, Short description is different from Wikidata, All Wikipedia articles written in Australian English, Articles containing potentially dated statements from March 2020, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from January 2020, Articles containing potentially dated statements from December 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Articles with failed verification from January 2020, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Vague or ambiguous time from January 2020, Articles to be expanded from December 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Approximately 18,636,079 hectares (46,050,750 acres), On 7 January, Denmark offered 50 firefighters via the, The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine notified Australia that the Ukrainian government is ready to send 200 seasoned firefighters to help fight the fires. Most of the 44 fires sparked by dry lighting were quickly dealt with by firefighters. [371], Singapore deployed two Chinook helicopters and 42 Singapore Armed Forces personnel stationed at Oakey Army Aviation Centre to RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria. [252] On 2 January 2020, the ACT declared a state of alert;[253] that was extended on 12 January as the merged Dunns Road fire burnt seven kilometres (four miles) from the Territory's south-west border. As the impact of the bushfire season spread, the Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer family Foundation pledged a further A$4 million to volunteer fire services in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia – all states in which Crown has resorts. [31][32], From September 2019 to March 2020, fires heavily impacted various regions of the state of New South Wales. This caused mass damage all around the country with fires in each state and territory. [397] Exacerbating the effects of diminished rainfall in this drought has been a record breaking run of above average monthly temperatures, lasting 36 months to October 2019. [482] On 14 January 2020, the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, announced an independent investigation into the 2019–2020 bushfire season in Victoria. ", "Land Management Practices Associated with House Loss in Wildfires", "More hazard-reduction burns not the answer, experts warn", "What does the fire spread map for January 4 mean? A spot fire jumped into Ericsson Lane, threatening businesses. [87], On 31 January 2020, the Australian Capital Territory declared a state of emergency in areas around Canberra[88] as several bushfires threatened the city, having burnt 60,000 hectares (150,000 acres). La Niña, a large-scale change in tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures that affects global weather patterns, is the dominant factor in Australia’s 2020-21 … Some of the aforementioned people have also donated or raised funds. [197] On 3 January, Andrews said two people were confirmed dead from the East Gippsland fires. The difference between the two temperatures is currently the strongest in 60 years. [186] By 11 January three fires had merged – the Dunns Road fire, the East Ournie Creek, and the Riverina's Green Valley fire – and had created a 600,000-hectare (1,482,632-acre) "mega-fire", burning south of the Snowy Mountains. Data shows that Australia has warmed overall by slightly more than one degree Celsius since 1910, with most of the heating occurring since 1950, the Bureau of Meteorology says. In the week preceding 10 February 2020, a wide band of heavy rain swept through most of coastal New Sout… Despite this, approximately 6.8 million hectares (17 million acres) was burnt, an area which contributed significantly to the total area burnt by bushfires in the nation. [159] On 10 February 2020, NSW Rural Fire Service announced a torrential rain event over the preceding week had extinguished the Green Wattle Creek fire. [345], The government of Fiji deployed the Fiji Military Forces humanitarian assistance and disaster relief platoon and engineers to assist in the bush fire rehabilitation. [155] As the fire moved north, authorities closed the M5 Motorway due to smoke conditions and prepared for the fire to impact the New Brighton housing estate. , increasing the risk of lightning strikes and further fires further fires have near. And save 780 million trees to fire authorities, despite protests in recent years New Wales... 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