As Australia continues to grapple with the enormity of the bushfire crisis gripping the nation from east to west, locals have begun the gruelling task of returning to their bushfire-devastated communities to survey the damage.
More than 10.3 million hectares have now been burned across the country during the crisis, ravaging hundreds of buildings and completely transforming previously pristine coastal and inland communities.
While milder conditions this week will enable some to sift through the rubble, photos depicting the aftermath of ferocious blazes have already highlighted how much work will be required to restore some towns to their former glory.
The main strip of the historic NSW South Coast village, now notorious for an infamous run-in with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, was completely decimated following the rampant New Year’s Eve fires.
Kangaroo Island, SA
The luscious tree-lined roads on the renowned island are now replaced with rows upon rows of deeply charred bark that resemble more of a post-apocalyptic scene than tourist site.
Smoke chokes south-east Australia
If you thought the smoke gripping major cities was intense, satellite imagery showed just how dense the smoke haze is from dozens of out-of-control blazes on the south-east tip of the mainland, choking coastal communities.
Last week’s round of catastrophic bushfire conditions gripped the Gippsland town of Sarsfield, with hundred-year-old homes succumbing to the brutality of this bushfire season.
The nation’s capital was enveloped in a thick orange-red haze, forcing the shutdown of a number of national institutions, and causing the death of an elderly woman due to smoke exposure. And the nation’s parliament was almost entirely obscured.
The far-east Victorian town, now home to one of the largest peacetime military evacuations in Australian history, bore the brunt of fierce fires over the New Year’s period, which forced thousands of locals to head for the shore to get out of harm’s way.