The ongoing and unprecedented bushfire crisis has spread across six states and multiple months.
In New South Wales alone, the Gospers Mountain megafire, north of Sydney, is 512,626 hectares in size – larger than Long Island and Manhattan combined. Last week, fires across the north-east of Victoria merged with fires in the NSW Snowy Valley, creating a huge complex of fires across the state border.
Here are nine images, before and after the fires, that show the devastation from beach to bush, farm to forest, across NSW and South Australia.
Many more fires are still burning – especially in Victoria’s East Gippsland and the NSW south coast – and the full visual aftermath will only be known when weather conditions improve.
Harrington, 60km south of Port Macquarie, was hit by fires before summer even started.
The NSW mid-north coast bore the brunt in early November, when fires killed four and destroyed hundreds of homes.
In Harrington, water-bombing aircraft dropped bright pink fire retardant on homes after a fire in Crowdy Bay national park threatened.
The fire in Crowdy Bay national park grew to more than 12,000 hectares.
Across the mid-north coast, up to 30% of the region’s koala habitat was destroyed in the fires, in what the NSW environment minister said could have killed a third of the koala population.
The seaside town of Forster, also on the mid-north coast, was ringed by fires in November.
The Pacific Highway was cut to the south and Failford Road was cut to the north, as residents gathered at the Tuncurry bowling club evacuation centre.
Homes were also declared to be in immediate danger at nearby Wallabi Point as the 21,000 hectare Hillville Road fire flared to emergency level.
In Nana Glen, near Coffs Harbour, actor Russell Crowe’s house was nearly destroyed by the fires in November.
At one point, the Liberation Trail fire grew to a perimeter of 1,000km as it burnt through homes and properties.
Lenswood, Adelaide Hills
In South Australia’s Adelaide Hills, the Cudlee Creek fire tore through the region in December, just days before Christmas.
In Lenswood, fires burned crops, vineyards and farms. Across the Adelaide Hills, more than 500 buildings were destroyed and one person killed.
Lobethal and Charleston, Adelaide Hills
Nearby Lobethal was also devastated, as the Cudlee Creek fire tore through a total 23,234 hectares.