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Matthew Abbott, Black Summer

There is virtually no country on earth as dramatically affected by catastrophic climate change as Australia. Record temperatures and an on-going drought were responsible for estimated 186,000 square kilometres going up in flames during the summer of 2019. The impressive “Black Summer” series, by the Australian photographer (born 1984), reports on the inferno from up close.

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Kangaroo in front of a burning house in Lake Conjola; New South Wales.
A man tries to protect his property by hosing it down, while the neighbouring house is already in flames; Lake Conjola, New South Wales.
Matthew Abbott was just a few metres away from the cascade of water being dropped to extinguish the fire; Hillville, New South Wales.
New Year’s Eve, 2019. Tourists at the popular holiday destination around Lake Conjola head for safety at the beach.
The fire at Conjola Park reached temperatures of over 600 degrees Celsius – hot enough to melt aluminium.
A woman from Orangeville, New South Wales, is faced with the decision to evacuate her home. The out-of-control bush fire is just 700 metres away.
Firefighters belonging to the Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade watch, as a Boeing 737 drops fire retardant at Hill Top, New South Wales.
Firefighters attempt to control flames in a house engulfed in a fire that is threatening neighbouring properties; Lake Conjola, New South Wales.
Fire from the bush ‘crowns’ the tops of surrounding eucalyptus trees, forcing firefighters to flee and abandon their truck; Orangeville, New South Wales.
A resident is overwhelmed by the heat and smoke, as the fire approaches his home on Silverdale Road in Orangeville, New South Wales.
A Rural Fire Service brigade tries to stop the fire from jumping from one side of the river to the other; Bargo River, Buxton, New South Wales.
Firefighters battle the flames on the outskirts of the village of Bredbo, New South Wales.
Flames over 100 metres high ‘crown’ the trees in a pine forest; Maragle, New South Wales.
Fires have completely destroyed the town of Balmoral, to the south of Sydney.
A dehydrated and emaciated wild horse, known in Australia as a ‘Brumby’, is close to collapse, as it stumbles on a fallen tree; Bago State Forest, New South Wales.