Australia is in the midst of one of the worst bushfire crises the world has seen. Since September, entire communities have been engulfed by relentless heat and fires.
Over a billion animals have sadly perished from the horrendous conditions, and despite this week's good news of rain, millions of animals continue to suffer.
But it has emerged that the wombats of Australia have been sheltering other animals in their burrows.
Keep scrolling to find out more...
Australia is being ravished by one of the worst bush fire crises the world has seen in decades.Due to soaring temperatures and one of the worst droughts in years, the relentless fires have been burning since September. We're currently in January. Just let that sink in.
New South Wales is suffering immensely at the moment.There have been fires reported in every state, but New South Wales is truly taking a beating by bush fires and is undoubtedly the hardest hit. More than 5,900 buildings have been destroyed.
NSW declared a state of emergency last month.What does this mean? Well, it grants "extraordinary powers" to the NSWRFS commissioner, including the authority to allocate government resources and direct government agencies in taking action, according to CNN.
Twenty-nine people have been confirmed to have died in the fires since they started...Including several volunteer firefighters.
The Australian fire services have been stretched to their limits.Firefighters all over the country have been tirelessly battling the formidable blazes and are struggling to contain them.
Australia has even been forced to make a global call for help...And it was Canada that was the first to respond and take action. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, based in Winnipeg, answered the call for help after realizing the bush fire situation is expected to continue for many more weeks and gave up their Christmas to help fight the raging fires.
Other countries offered their assistance...Including the U.S. and New Zealand, who have sent in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.
The fires have also had a devasting impact on wildlife.Several of Australia's native species have been affected including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas. Keep scrolling to see the latest snaps showing the true devastation the fires have had on the native wildlife.
And the latest statistics are some of the most alarming yet.
Koalas have been amongst the hardest hit.It's believed that at least a third of Koalas in New South Wales alone have perished in the flames.
But what's even more concerning...
And that's not all...It's feared that animals that managed to survive the flames will need huge amounts of humanitarian assistance to get populations anywhere near back to what they used to be.
A staggering number of animals have perished in the fires.And its only set to get worse. But the number that surfaced this week is utterly heartbreaking.
A billion animals have now died.Ecologist Chris Dickman has estimated more than a billion animals have died around the country.
Australia's wildlife has been left without a home...And despite this week's good news of a rainstorm spreading across the country, animals are still continuing to suffer.
Australia's amazing community has been working tirelessly to help the unfortunate animals...Irwin family, people have selflessly been dedicating their time and effort to animals in need.
But it turns out that we humans aren't the only ones lending a helping hand...The wombat community of Australia has been making a huge difference.
Wombats survive in the wild with an underground burrowing system...These burrows are quite complex, with the majority being between twenty-thirty meters long with several entrances and sleeping chambers.
These burrows are designed specifically for safety...And they have proved to be great barriers during the bushfires.
Documentary filmmaker Peter Hylands has been visiting the firegrounds of the devastated Cobargo Wildlife Sanctuary...And after noticing the environmental devastation and the high amount of wildlife survivors, he made a connection.
He believes that wombats have been allowing small animals into their burrows...
"You've got animals that are completely unscathed and those must be the animals that have been under the ground, it's the only explanation when the fire zones are so extensive," Hylands said.
"There are quite a few wombats in that region, and there's quite an extensive network of burrows."