Australia Is Burning Like Never Before. These 9 Photos Show the Horrific Devastation.

It’s only predicted to get worse due to climate change.

Firefighters struggling against the strong wind to secure houses near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Australia launched its largest military operation since World War II this weekend, not against a human enemy but to combat the bushfire crisis sweeping the country. Thus far, 23 people have died as 140 blazes have devoured more over 12 million acres.

To combat the fires, which are only expected to get worse as Australia endures high temperatures and windy conditions, the government is mobilizing 3,000 army reservists, aircraft, and naval ships to help evacuations and fight fires, the New York Times reported Saturday. “It is the first time that reserves have been called out in this way in living memory,” Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said. The conflagrations now and in the future are expected to worsen due to climate change.

Here are more images of the relief efforts and devastation in Australia.

Residents look on as flames burn through bush in Lake Tabourie, Australia on January 4, 2020.

Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

 

Kangaroos graze in a field as smoke shrouds the Australian capital of Canberra, Australia on January 1, 2020.

Mark Baker/AP

People in Mallacoota, Victoria are evacuated by army personnel to the HMAS Choules after bushfires ravaged the town on January 3, 2020 in Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia.

Justin McManus/The Age/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Firefighters struggling against the strong wind to secure houses near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019.

Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.