480 million animals feared to have died as Australian bushfires are set to get worse 7 months ago

480 million animals feared to have died as Australian bushfires are set to get worse

The heatwave conditions are to reach their peak on New Year's Eve.

As the bushfires in Australia continue to devastate entire regions of the country, the full extent of the destruction is still being tallied.

According to one report, almost half a billion animals are estimated to have died due to the bushfires, while the death toll is currently at nine people, with one more unaccounted for.

As per the Evening Standard:

"Around 480 million animals are feared to have died in the bushfires sweeping Australia, including nearly a third of the koalas in New South Wales's main habitat. Ecologists at the University of Sydney estimate around 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been killed, directly or indirectly, by the devastating blazes since they began in September.

"This includes almost 8,000 koalas, which are believed to have burnt to death on the state’s mid-north coast. More than 100 fires continue to rage across the country, having so far consumed more than five million hectares of land.‍"

However, things won't be easing up any time soon, as the country's meteorological services predict that the high winds and temperatures will continue to get worse right up to New Year's Eve.

According to Australian news outlet News.com.au: "A heatwave is forecast to hit bushfire-affected parts of Australia, and the high temperatures combined with strong winds could be deadly.

"Firefighters across Australia are "giving their all" to contain large and complex bushfires, as the country braces for conditions to worsen amid forecast high temperatures and dry winds. The Bureau of Meteorology expects the fire danger to intensify into the new week amid increasing heat and winds."

The Australian government have issued a nationwide health warning for those caught in or near the fires:

"During extremely hot weather, it is easy to become dehydrated or for your body to overheat. Exposure to high temperatures can lead to life-threatening heat-related illness such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. More commonly, heat can make existing chronic illness worse. This can have equally serious consequences such as inducing a heart attack in someone who has a heart condition."