Although summer fires are common and can have an important regenerative role in Australia’s drier vegetation types, the magnitude, extent and intensity of this season’s events are unprecedented. As a consequence, it will be difficult for ecologists and conservation biologists to evaluate their full impact until the fires are extinguished.
Large areas of native vegetation have been burnt, and this directly impacts flora and fauna. Some of the plants will recover, seed of some will be stimulated to germinate and grow once it rains to sustain them - but in some cases because of the intensity of the heat there may be little recovery. For those animals that survived the fires a lack of vegetation and flora is concerning as that provides food resources and a habitat.