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9 photos that show why we cannot forget Australia's worst summer in history.

In a few days, it will be autumn. In a few days, Australia will farewell summer, in what has been the worst bushfire season our country has seen.

But let us not forget the turmoil, tears and tragedy our towns endured as our backyard burned.

As we welcome the raindrops and growing greenery, we mustn’t let the fury we felt just one month ago be blown away with the wind.

Watch: Andrew Constance on the mental health toll of the bushfires. Post continues below. 

Video by ABC

This bushfire season, which began in September, we lost more than 20 per cent of the nation’s forests, new research found this week. The study further confirmed the fires burned on a globally unprecedented scale.

We also lost 34 lives, including firefighters who died trying to protect their local communities.

Over one billion animals were incinerated, and koalas, among other species, are now closer than ever to becoming endangered.

These photos tell of the horror Australia suffered – still suffer – even as we head into the cooler months of the year.

bushfire australia photos 2020
Taken over Canberra on Saturday, 4 January 2020. Image: Facebook/Jodie Wilkinson.
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"Seeing the fires from this perspective was devastating," the photographer Jodie Wilkinson told Mamamia at the time. "It made me think about what the clouds consisted of... it felt like I was looking at the souls of 500 million lost animals."

bushfire australia photos 2020
Taken on Sunday, the 5th of January 2020. Image: Supplied/Samantha Westaway.

The mother-of-three Samantha Westaway told Mamamia this was "the most terrifying day we have ever seen here at Kanoona NSW".

australia bushfire crisis photos
Photo from January 5, in Conjola, NSW. Image: Facebook/Jenna O'Keeffe.
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"This is a picture of my Dad getting five minutes sleep on our front lawn, while my brother keeps watch over the fire burning at the top of our farm after he finished his 10th 12 hr+ day in a row fighting voluntarily in the community with the RFS NSW," Jenna O'Keeffe said.

bushfire australia photos 2020
From Currumbin Wildlife Hospital in Queensland. Image: Instagram/currumbinwildlifehospital.

In 2008, the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital saw 27 koalas in total. In 2019 alone, that number rose to 600 koalas.

bushfire australia photos 2020
A photo from News Year's Eve in the East Gippsland region of Mallacoota. Image: Twitter/brendanh_au.
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On New Year's Eve, approximately 4000 people were evacuated and sought shelter at a beach in Mallacoota as an out of control bushfire moved in on the small town.

bushfire australia photos 2020
Image: bighorsepic.

"This photo was taken at 2.3am December 30, 2019, whilst I (East Jindabyne RFS member) was working as a RFS crew member with a crew from the Smiths Road Brigade (from South of Canberra)," volunteer firefighter and photographer Brendan told Mamamia at the time.

Summer Australia 2020
At the Wingello State Forest on January 06, 2020. Image: Getty.
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Here, a wallaby is found dead at the Wingello State Forest.

Summer Australia 2020
Bargo on December 21, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Image: Getty.

Above, a burnt bicycle lies on the ground in front of a house destroyed by bushfires on the outskirts of the town of Bargo, just before Christmas.

These photos only begin to represent what was a horrific summer.

Of course, those directly impacted by the devastation could never forget. They don't have that option. For those who lost their homes and loved ones, the effort to rebuild, restore and recover is only now beginning.

As autumn arrives, it is more important than ever to help the communities in their long road ahead to reconstruct.

But we also must remember: this summer wasn't forewarning us of the future of climate change, but rather we witnessed first-hand the ramifications of global warming banging down our doors.

If you would like to donate to bushfire recovery, you can do so here

Feature image: 


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