The world has been watching as fires have devastated Australia for months now. About one-third of Kangaroo Island has been decimated, in addition to significant damage in New South Wales and Victoria.
Located on the southern coast off of Australia, Kangaroo Island was until recently home to many koalas and wallabies. But since the fires began, approximately 20,000 koalas have died. The fires have also taken the lives of two people on the island and destroyed 50 homes.
The Guardian reports that Kangaroo Island was previously a haven for many endangered species endemic to Australian. Its fairy tale-esque settings were a quiet home for the many animals that lived there, and the natural beauty of the island attracted tourists from all over the world.
Photos show the extent of the damage. This is Flinders Chase National Park in 2017.
Sadly, this is a recent shot of the same area.
More from the burned-out forest:
The island was also home to the Southern Ocean Lodge, a luxury resort in Kangaroo Island.
Many have done their part to rescue koalas and other animals who have lost their homes, food, and sources of water.
NASA has also shown sobering images of what the ecologically diverse island has lost.
Even if these fires eventually stop, which they presumably will, local channel 9News says new fires could start again because of the summer hot weather coupled with many years of drought.
The Australian government has set up a help page for those interested in assisting residents of Kangaroo Island. You can also help by donating to volunteer firefighters, who are the primary force fighting to control these fires.
No matter that the fires will eventually come under control, these pictures are a reminder of what humanity has lost.
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