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As 2019 gave way to 2020, thick black smoke shrouded Australia’s major cities for weeks. Wildfire was scorching the landscape around Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. More than ten million hectares were burned — an area almost the size of England — with the worst fires occurring in December and January. It has become known as Australia’s ‘Black Summer’. This article looks at what caused these devastating fires, their impact and how the risk of future fires could be reduced.
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