The early and devastating start to Australia’s summer wildfires has already burned about 12.35 million acres of land and destroyed more than 1,500 homes. The fire danger increased as temperatures rose to record levels across Australia, surpassing 42 degree Celsius in the capital Canberra and 48 in Penrith, in Sydney's western suburbs.
There have been fires in every Australian state, but New South Wales has been hardest hit. More than 130 fires were burning in New South Wales and at least half of those were out of control. Temperatures in parts of the state are expected to soar to about 45 degrees amid strong winds and low humidity. A total of 48 fires were burning across almost 791,000 acres in Victoria state and conditions were expected to worsen with a southerly wind change.
Over 20 people across Australia have died this fire season, including several volunteer firefighters. There has also been extensive damage to wildlife and the environment. Almost a third of koalas in NSW may have been killed in the fires, and a third of their habitat has been destroyed, said Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
P.S - Environmental concerns have reached more places than we have. The picture doesn't show fracking. Picture shows fresh water sources that are critical to our existence.