We won't try to paint it any other way: the Australia bush fires are a catastrophic event and are the worst bushfires in the county's history, with thousands of people displaced, and countless animals killed by the raging fires.
And yet, it is in moments like these that we need any hope we can cling onto. These images show the resilience of nature in such adversity and might provide inspiration for people suffering the consequences of such a dire situation.
1. 'Heartening' images of regrowth
In Ancient Greek mythology, the phoenix is a bird that has a cyclical life and is reborn of its own ashes. The mythological bird symbolizes renewal and the tales themselves could have been born from people seeing the incredible renewal of forests after large fires.
These images, taken by Murray Lowe, show how regeneration of the forests is already happening, despite the fact that fires are still blazing in Australia.
As Murray Lowe told News.com.au, “I ventured out into the fire grounds today to capture some images of how the Aussie bush responds to fire, and the way it regenerates itself and comes back to life.”
“Even without any rain, life bursts through the burnt bark from the heart of the trees and the life cycle begins again.
“It’s so heartening to see the bush coming back to life again.”
2. Regeneration in the Blue Mountains
Bianca Nogrady also shared some images of regrowth in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia.
In a recent article about wildfires in California, National Geographic actually pointed out some of the benefits that wildfires have for nature.
It says that naturally occurring wildfires play an integral role in nature. The burning of dead or decaying matter returns otherwise trapped nutrients into the soil. Fires also act as a disinfectant, as they diseased plants and harmful insects from an ecosystem.
While that may be true, the damage of Australia's raging bushfires is unprecedented and will be felt for years to come.
3. Animals helping animals
Bear the rescue dog has emerged, alongside the brave firefighters and rescue workers tackling the flames, as one of the heroes of the Australian bushfires.
As Bored Panda points out, Bear is a mix between a border collie and a koolie. He was specially trained at Detection Dogs for Conservation to sniff out and detect sick, orphaned and injured koalas in the wild.
"Bear is one of the few detection dogs who can locate live koalas through the scent of their fur,” International Fund for Animal Welfare posted on their Facebook page.
4. Bril Bril State Forest regrowth
As the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, which has been rescuing wildlife from the fires, put it:
"It's promising to see this State Forest regenerating after the bushfires. New shoots from the trunks of koala food trees, and the sprouting undergrowth brought a smile to our faces."
Forest fires thin forest canopies and undergrowth. This allows sunlight to reach the previously shade-covered forest floor, leading to the growth of new seedlings. In fact, some tree species, like sequoias, actually rely on fire for their seeds to open.
5. Regrowth after previous bushfires
As Reddit poster rarebit13 says, "in South Australia we had our own devastating bushfires in 2014 which lasted for a couple of months. One year later, the regrowth on trees made them look like they were wearing jumpers made from leaves."
The image shows that trees don't take long to regrow, despite the disastrous effects that bushfires have on vegetation and wildlife.
6. Doubling down on conservation efforts
Many organizations and NGOs are helping to rescue wildlife affected by the bushfires. As The Independent reports, whole species might be extinct due to the bushfires and scientists are estimating that more than a billion animals have been killed by the fires.
The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has been posting images of Koalas that have been rescued from the fires.
"Bilpin Janet and her son Jarrod recovering in our cool ICU. They were transferred to us from firegrounds in the Blue Mountains"
This catastrophic event is a reminder of how precarious the life of a species can be and how we must look after nature and wildlife.
Thankfully, many have come together to donate money to conservation efforts and rescue funds for the bushfires, raising millions to help out people, wildlife, and nature to heal and regrow after the events that have burnt through 8.4m hectares of land in Australia.