Amazon wildfires will cost Brazil trillions of dollars— damage from Australia's bushfires maybe 5 times greater

  • Australia Prime Minister has announced $1.4 billion funding for the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.
  • Australian fires have burnt four times the area of the Amazon wildfires, which could cost Brazil $3.5 trillion over the next years.
  • Fires in Indonesia last year cost the country $5.2 billion, although they only burned one-third the area of Australia's fires.
Australia's wildfires seem to have simmered down a bit as light rain and cool winds blew over the country. As the Australian authorities take a moment to assess the damage, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced $1.4 billion funding for the newly formed National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

Bush fires burning in Australia claim 52,500 square kilometersIANS

The cost of these fires, however, may be much greater. The Australian blaze in three states — New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria — burned over five times the amount of area that the Amazon wildfires in Brazil did last year.

That is enough to cover all of the Netherlands and half of Belgium, according to Reuters.

Australia versus the rest of the world

Ecologists estimate that the die-back from the Amazon could hit anywhere from $957 billion to $3.5 trillion over the next 30 years. Full recovery of the area could take centuries.

Smoky skies in Australia could persist for months
At the time, it had already cost the Brazil government's Guarantee of Law and Order Operation ( GLO) $22 million. G7 countries pledged another $20 million to help Brazil in addition to Britain's $12 million and Canada's $11 million.

In Australia, the Insurance Council estimates that damages will hit at least $260 million — four times the amount that Brazil had at its disposal. And, even that might be an underestimation of the true extent of the damage.

Percentage of area burnt by fires in Australia compared to the US, Indonesia and BrazilBusiness Insider India

Indonesia's land and forest fires, only one-third as vast compared to Australia's fire, cost the country $5.2 billion.


In the US, damage from the California wildfires was estimated at $25 billion.

Bush fires burning in AustraliaIANS

All of these fires pale in comparison to what's happening in Australia. It is highly unlikely that $1.4 billion can cover it. At least 23 people are dead and many more are still missing after massive evacuations.

In addition to the human cost, nearly half a billion animals have been lost to the natural calamity. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney estimates that 30 rare plants and animals have perished. As much as 48% of the Gondwana reserves, and forests from the age of the dinosaurs, have been destroyed.

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