Over 240 consecutive days from July 2019 to 2 March 2020, a series of catastrophic bushfires raged throughout eastern New South Wales (NSW). Approximately 5,520,000 hectares of land – urban, farm and bush – were burnt, representing approximately 7 per cent of the total area of NSW. The fires destroyed 2476 homes, and there was immense loss of wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Tragically, 26 lives were lost, including six firefighters.
Nationally, in a fire season that affected all of Australia, a total of 34 people died, including nine firefighters.
The following online gallery is a record of those traumatic eight months. The images are drawn from public submissions made to the NSW Bushfire Inquiry, and from its published report.
Image: Anne Pidcock Submission 0144
The Inquiry and Report
In January 2020, the then premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian, announced that an inquiry would be held into the causes of, preparedness for, and response to the bushfires in NSW. The inquiry report was submitted to Premier Berejiklian on 31 July 2020 and is available online.
The NSW Bushfire Inquiry received 1967 written submissions, the bulk of which have been published online.
In 2021, records from the inquiry were transferred to NSW State Archives. As part of this process, a selection of images from the written submissions have been made available through this online gallery.