The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season involves a series of bushfires that are currently burning across Australia, predominantly in south-east Australia. The 2019–20 bushfire season is of notable intensity compared to previous seasons as it has burned an estimated 8.4 million hectares (21 million acres; 84,000 square kilometers; 32,000 square miles), destroyed over 2,500 buildings (including over 1,300 houses) and killed 25 people as of 5 January 2020. The bushfires are regarded by the NSW Rural Fire Service as the worst bushfire season in memory. In December 2019, the New South Wales Government declared a state of emergency in New South Wales after record-breaking temperatures and prolonged drought exacerbated the bushfires.
It was estimated that close to half a billion animals in New South Wales were killed by the ongoing fires From September 2019, fires heavily impacted various regions of the state of New South Wales, such as the North Coast, Mid North Coast, the Hunter Region, the Hawkesbury and the Wollondilly in Sydney’s far west, the Blue Mountains, Illawarra, and the South Coast, with more than 100 fires burnt across the state.
In eastern and north-eastern Victoria large areas of forest burnt out of control for four weeks before the fires emerged from the forests in late December, taking lives, threatening many towns and isolating Corryong and Mallacoota. A state of disaster was declared for East Gippsland Significant fires occurred in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Moderately affected areas were South Eastern Queensland and areas of south-western Western Australia, with a few areas in Tasmania and the ACT being mildly impacted.