Daily US Times, New South Wales: One-third of Australia’s Kangaroo Island, a haven for rare wildlife burned by bushfire, NASA satellite image reveals.
Kangaroo Island is in South Australia.
NASA’s Terra satellite captured Kangaroo island’s fire extent on Tuesday. The images clearly show the devastation of fire with brown burn scars and active fires where lush greenery once stood.
NASA called the burning as ‘ecological tragedy’ and estimates 155,000 hectares (600 square miles) of the island has been consumed by fires.
Australia’s southern coast island is famous for its pristine wilderness. The island hosts native wildlife, such as sea lions, koalas and diverse bird species.
According to NASA, Nearly 25,000 koalas on Kangaroo Island have died in the fires, which is half of the island’s population of the marsupials.
Endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart — a small marsupial is only found on the island. It is also home for Glossy black cockatoo, which has been brought back from the brink of extinction over the past two decades.
Australia’s current bushfire has been running since last September, but the Kangaroo Islan fire caught in December.
24 people accused of setting fire
The catastrophic bushfire mainly caused by severe drought and extreme heat. But Australian authorities accused 24 people for some of the problems.
New South Wales police released a statement on Monday which says police have charged at least 24 people for intentionally starting bushfires in the state.
The NSW police taken legal action against 183 people, 40 of whom are juveniles, for fire-related offences since November 8, the statement said.
The current bushfire crisis is considered the worst in Australia’s history. At least 24 people have died so far and some are still missing. New South Wales and Victoria are the worst affected states. But other adjacent states has also burned by fire.