Bushfires are an annual problem for Australia, but this season has been unprecedented. As of January 2, about 5.9 million hectares (13.5 million acres) of land has been burnt; that’s larger than Denmark and The Netherlands.
The Australian state of New South Wales also declared its third emergency in as many months -- the last two times, in November and December.
Furthermore, 18 people have died, eight on New Year's Eve, making it one of Australia's most deadly bushfire seasons.
Fire and Rescue personal use a hose as they try to extinguish a bushfire as it burns near homes on the outskirts of the town of Bilpin in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: David Gray/Getty Images
Emergency services fight the East Gippsland bushfires in Victoria. Photograph: @DELWP_Vic/Twitter
A Rural Fire Service firefighter conducts mopping up near the town of Sussex Inlet in Sydney, Australia. A week-long state of emergency has been declared across New South Wales as the state prepares to endure some of the worst bushfire conditions yet, with temperatures expected to hit 46 degree Celsius by Saturday. Photograph: Sam Mooy/Getty Images
Dozens of firefighters from the United States and Canada are set to join the more than 1,000 responders already battling the blazes in Victoria.Photograph: @DELWP_Vic/Instagram
General scenes near the town of Sussex Inlet in Sydney. More than 1,500 firefighters are currently battling more than 100 blazes across the NSW, with more than 30 fires still yet to be contained. The fires have burned 3.6 million hectares (8.9 million acres) of land in NSW, 1.2 million hectares (2.9 million acres) in Western Australia, 784,000 hectares (1.9 million acres) in Victoria, at least 250,000 hectares (618,000 acres) in Queensland, and more than 91,000 hectares (225,000 acres) in South Australia, according to the states' fire authorities. Photograph: Sam Mooy/Getty Images
An Erickson S-64 Air-Crane is used to fight fires in East Gippsland, Victoria. Photograph: @DELWP_Vic/Twitter
Residents watch the developing conditions near the town of Sussex Inlet in Sydney, Australia. Australian PM Scott Morrison said his administration was allocating at least 23 million Australian dollars (Rs 114 crore) in disaster recovery payments to affected families and businesses, and up to 6,000 Australian dollars (Rs 2.98 lakh) each for volunteer firefighters called out to fight fires for more than 10 days. Photograph: Sam Mooy/Getty Images
The remains of a car that was destroyed by bushfires sits near a home in the town of Balmoral in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: David Gray/Getty Images
A home recently destroyed by bushfires can be seen near the town of Bilpin in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: David Gray/Getty Images
A burnt bicycle lies on the ground in front of a house recently destroyed by bushfires on the outskirts of the town of Bargo in Sydney. Photograph: David Gray/Getty Images