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The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season involves a series of bushfires that are currently burning across Australia, predominantly in the south-east. The 2019–20 bushfire season is of notable intensity compared to previous seasons as it has burned an estimated 10.7 million hectares, destroyed over 5,900 buildings and killed 28 people as of 8 January 2020. The bushfires are regarded by the NSW Rural Fire Service as the worst bushfire season in memory. In December 2019, the New South Wales Government declared a state of emergency after record-breaking temperatures and prolonged drought exacerbated the bushfires. It was estimated that close to half a billion animals in New South Wales were affected by the ongoing fires. Other estimates, which include animals like bats, amphibians and invertebrates, put the number killed at over a billion. Ecologists fear some endangered species will be driven to extinction by the fires.