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Government set to revise total number of hectares destroyed during bushfire season

The federal government is set to revise the total amount of land burnt in Australia this bushfire season after millions of hectares in the Northern Territory wasn't included in the official count.

Recent figures put the number of hectares destroyed at around 10 million, however this did not include nearly 7 million hectares of land in the Northern Territory.

Since August, the beginning of the bushfire season in Australia, approximately 6.8 million hectares of land has burnt in the Northern Territory, which has experienced a relatively average bushfire season and not been gripped by same the level of crisis seen in many other parts of the country.

MALLACOOTA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 02: DELWP ( The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning ) and CFA ( Country Fire Authority ) Crews monitor fires and begin back burns between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in east Gipplsland  on January 02, 2020 in Australia. The HMAS Choules docked outside of Mallacoota this morning to evacuate thousands of people stranded in the remote coastal town following fires across East Gippsland which have killed one person and destroyed dozens of pro

However, the inclusion of the figures paints a picture of just how widespread bushfires have been and how the dry, hot conditions are affecting the entire nation.

The Northern Territory today formally reported its 6.8 million figure to the federal government, the Department of Home Affairs confirmed to nine.com.au. The figure includes scrub fires.

Nine.com.au understands the government department had not previously requested the figure, which is why it had not been included in the official totals.

"The Northern Territory Department of Environment and Natural Resources has advised that approximately 6.8 million hectares burnt across the Northern Territory between July and December last year," a Department of Home Affairs spokesperson said.

TUMURUMBA, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 11: A Rural Fire Service firefighter Trevor Stewart views a flank of a fire on January 11, 2020 in Tumburumba, Australia. Cooler temperatures forecast for the next seven days will bring some reprieve to firefighters in NSW following weeks of emergency level bushfires across the state, with crews to use the more favourable conditions to contain fires currently burning. 20 people have died in the bushfires across Australia in recent weeks, including three volunteer f

"Northern Territory Department of Environment and Natural Resources have advised that this is approximately 5 percent of the total NT landmass and considered within the normal range of area burnt by wildfires each year."

The spokesperson said there were currently no significant fires burning in the Northern Territory.

Last year during the same time period approximately 6.8 million hectares of land was burnt in the Northern Territory.

In NSW, more than 5.2 million hectares have been destroyed by bushfires and 20 people have died.

Flames on Kangaroo Island at the weekend.

In Victoria the figure is 1.4 million and four people have lost their lives.

Queensland reports approximately 2.5 million hectares have been destroyed, while in Western Australia it is about 2.2 million hectares.

In South Australia approximately 490,000 hectares have burnt and three people have died.

In Tasmania, just 36,000 hectares has been lost to bushfires this season. Nine.com.au has contacted the ACT Emergency Services Centre for its figure.

Queensland and Western Australia, which have similar terrain in northern parts of the states, also include scrub fires in their total figures.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/australian-bushfires-17-million-hectares-burnt-more-than-previously-thought/b8249781-5c86-4167-b191-b9f628bdd164

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