Bushfires ravaging through New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has decimated more than three million hectares of land, revealed an official. It is more than thrice the deforestation in Amazon caused by the wildfire earlier this year. Speaking to an Australian news channel, NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said that the bushfire season has been unprecedented.
Fitzsimmons said that the crew is facing great difficulties to access some of the difficult terrains and stop the bushfires from spreading further. The threat of further damage remains as the forecasters have predicted a scorching heatwave with temperature surpassing the current record of 50.7 degree Celsius.
In Sydney, the doctors have issued a warning after a sudden rise in the number of people getting admitted to the casualty section. The administration has declared a ‘Public Health Emergency’ due to the smoke choking the metropolitan city.
Emergency Warning for Gospers Mountain fire. Fire activity & smoke increasing. People in Wallerawang, Lidsdale & Blackmans Flat area should seek shelter as fire approaches. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/ueYLY6rgGw— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 16, 2019
The expected damage is thrice the deforestation in Amazon. According to official data, deforestation in Amazon rainforest surpassed 10,000 square kilometres within a year, the highest in more than a decade.
The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) had earlier estimated 9,762 square kilometres of rainforest were cleared of trees from August 2018 to July 2019, an increase of 29.5%. The revised statistics revealed that the jump was even bigger with a 43% increase in deforestation in the world's largest rainforest and a total loss of 10,100 square kilometres.
As per the data generated by the Satellite Legal Amazon Deforestation Monitoring Project (PRODES), the total deforestation, between August 2017 and July 2018, in the world's largest rainforest was at 7,033 square kilometres.
The mapping used Landsat or similar satellite images to record and quantify deforested areas larger than 6.25 hectares. PRODES considers deforestation the complete removal of primary forest cover by clearcut, regardless of the future use of these areas.