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What was the total damage of the 2019-2020 bushfires/wildfires in Australia?

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The total area burned was 12.6 million hectares, or 126,000 square kilometers. This is equivalent to:

  • The US state of North Carolina (125,920 sq km)
  • The US state of New York (122,057 sq km)
  • The US state of Mississippi (121,531 sq km)
  • North Korea (120, 408 sq km)
  • 96% of Greece (130,647 sq km)
  • 52% of the United Kingdom (241,930)
  • 36% of Germany (348,672 sq km)
  • 22% of France (549,970 sq km)
  • 45% of Ecuador (276,841 sq km)
  • 10% of South Africa (1,214,470 sq km)
  • 20% of Australia’s forests
  • Nearly twice the size of the 2019 fires in Siberia
  • 5.5 times the size of the 2019 Amazon fires
  • 6 times the size of the 2018 California fires

The amount of carbon dioxide emitted was 434 million tonnes. This equated to over three-quarters of the 532 million tonnes Australian industry emitted in 2018-19. Air quality during the fires was up to 20 times higher than hazardous levels.

The smoke encircled the Earth and discolored the snow on the alpine regions of New Zealand leaving it caramel colored.

The number of people affected by smoke for the fires was 11.3 million, or 57 percent of the population of Australia.

The estimated number of animal killed by the fires is 3 billion (revised on 28 July 2020, from 1 billion animals, when updated information was available). The breakdown by animal type is:

  • 143 million mammals
  • 2.46 billion reptiles
  • 180 million birds
  • 51 million frogs

28 July 2020

Substantial summary of the fires in Wikipedia.

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