During Australia’s 2019/20 summer, over 30 million acres burned (12 times the recent amazon fires and more than ever before). The intensity – defined by how hot much heat was generated – and the severity – defined by the amount of damage to vegetation – was at record levels. Wet forests burned, rain forests burned, and experts say some habitats will never be the same. Adding to this were the horrific animal welfare impacts – with over a billion animals burning to death, hundreds of millions of animals suffering and dying from exposure, starvation, injury or dehydration.
In the state of Victoria, one area that was severely impacted was East Gippsland. Dealing with this wildlife trauma, and trying to help those animals that survived, were a range of people from professional wildlife officers, to part-time rescuers and carers.
This series of images hopes out to show three things:
a) a snapshot of the impacts from just a few days after the main fires hit, to a few weeks afterwards, where rain had fallen and some plant life has started to regrow.
b) the diverse range of people caring for a range of animals but with two things in common – all impacted by the fires and all caring deeply about wildlife.
c) Some of the extraordinary efforts that went in to rescuing, treating and releasing them back into the wild.