Here Are 10 Photos From Australia That You Need To See Today

Aaron Homer

The devastating Australian wildfires that have been raging for weeks are now estimated to have burned through about 32,400 square miles of the country, NBC News reports, an area roughly the size of the U.S. state of Indiana. By comparison, the wildfires that burned in the Amazon rainforest in the summer of 2019 raged through approximately 5,000 square miles less. The Australian fires have burned approximately 6,400 times the amount of area that was destroyed in California's 2019 wildfire season.

The latest estimates indicate that as many as a billion animals -- including birds, reptiles, and mammals, though not including fish, insects, frogs, or invertebrates -- have died as a result of the fires. Thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed, and the blaze -- fueled by drought and extreme summer heat -- has so far claimed the lives of 24 people.

As is the case in many disasters, photos and videos taken from the scene can help reveal the depth of the tragedy, and this instance is proving to be no exception.

A number of photos and videos that have emerged from the Australian wildfires are posted below. Please note that some of this media can be disturbing.

"All these hundreds of millions of animals and plants dead by the flames that no man seems able to breaks my heart. I find this rescue so moving, I swear at one point I had tears in my eyes."

"Listening to the stories of survival and resilience is the important work we all need to do now: supporting one another, taking the time to heal, because it is a long road ahead," she writes.

Some Australian communities have been literally wiped off the map by the fires. In other towns, whole streets have been leveled to the ground. For example, as reported by The Inquisitr, the town of Balmoral is simply no more. The town, which had once been home to about 150 buildings and about 400 people, is now nothing but rubble. Townsfolk say it could take years for them to rebuild, if they decide to rebuild at all.

Thousands of firefighters, many of whom are volunteers, are working almost around the clock to battle the blaze, often at risk to their own physical and mental health, as The New York Times reports. Some are even taking time off from their regular jobs to fight the fires, giving up their vacation days in the process. They're driven by a sense of duty to their neighbors and -- in many cases -- are "getting by on adrenaline" alone.

If you would like to donate money to help battle the Australian wildfires, you can contribute by donating to Australian comedian Celeste Barber's fundraiser, which -- as of this writing -- has already raised over AUS $45 million via her Facebook fundraiser, as reported by The Inquisitr.

If you would prefer to donate directly to an organization that is aimed at helping Australia's wildlife, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is raising funds to help plan for the future of the country's animals.