Over the past five months, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Western Australia have battled an extensive number of bushfires across Australia.
Resources have been sourced and shared from state to state, agency to agency and from interstate deployments.
The damage has been irreparable, and residents across several states have lost their homes. In total, more than 7.3 million hectares have been burned across Australia thus far – this is an area larger than the countries of both Belgium and Denmark combined. A total of 28 people have died this fire season, including several firefighters. Roughly half a billion animals and wildlife has been affected by fires.
These fires have largely been ignited by natural causes, including lightening strikes in drought affected and dry areas, however there have been a number of people charged with arson as a result of the recent Australian bushfires.
Smoke plumes have impacted all of Australia, Tasmania and has reached New Zealand, with air quality reaching significant lows.
Recent cooler conditions and favorable weather has calmed the fireground, however there are approximately 80 fires still actively burning across Australia.
The Network would like to acknowledge that there are many members of the Australian forests and forests products industry which are struggling as a result of these bushfires. Our thoughts are will all of those currently impacted by bushfire this fire season.
We would like to thank all of those who are actively involved in the firefighting efforts both in Tasmania and across Australia. Thank you for your hard work throughout challenging conditions with little rest. We commend you.
This is an important time for Australia and the Australian forest and forest products industry as it gives us an opportunity to learn and improve methods for forest fire management, and the impacts of climate change which are largely out of our control.