Alarming before and after photos reveal the true impact of bushfires across Australia’s east coast

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Before and after satellite photos reveal the shocking impact of bushfires over a stretch of Australian coastline. 

The NASA images, taken six months apart, capture the landscape between Seal Rocks and Byron Bay on the New South Wales north coast.

The first, taken last August, shows how the 530km stretch of land was almost completely filled with lush green vegetation.

The second image was only released on Thursday because it was the first time smoke and clouds had cleared over the area. 

It showed huge swathes of land completely burned out after months of raging bushfires.    

Around ten million hectares of land has burned across the country and more than a billion animals have been killed since the crisis began in October.   

Meanwhile, Thursday’s horror conditions had firefighters on high alert after temperatures soared above 40C in parts of NSW. 

‘Down through the region it’s been very hot, very dry and it’s been very windy,’ RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

‘It was another very difficult, aggressive fire weather day, which resulted in so many of these fires spreading and breaking out.’ 

Temperatures reached 42C in western Sydney at Penrith and Richmond and further inland at Coonamble and Bourke.

Authorities believed they’d braved the worst of the bushfire threat by 5pm.

‘We’re confident that weather conditions are easing over the next few hours and hopefully we won’t see any further concern beyond the fires at emergency level already,’ Ms Berejiklian told reporters.

Tragically three American firefighters were killed fighting a blaze near Cooma, NSW on Thursday afternoon.

The waterbomber they were inside was being used to help fight a massive 250,000ha megablaze but crashed and exploded into a huge fireball.

The firefighters had been working alongside Australian fire crews to help in the bushfire crisis.

Their bodies are yet to be recovered. 

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean urged residents to slash power use as the bushfires and high temperatures put pressure on the state’s electricity grid.

‘The tight conditions in the electricity system this afternoon are largely a result of the state’s weather conditions, bushfire impacts on transmission lines and mechanical issues at some of the state’s power stations,’ he said.

Bushfires cut power to more than 7500 customers on Thursday afternoon.

Seven NSW fire regions stretching from the Queensland border to the Victoria border were under total fire bans including greater Sydney.

All seven regions were deemed to have a ‘severe’ or ‘extreme’ bushfire risk.

There were around 70 fires burning across NSW at 6pm, with more than half of those uncontained.

 

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