The bush fires that tore through the Australian state of Victoria in February 2009 incinerated over a million acres of land, including key mountain ash forest ecosystems. Fires are a natural force of nature which spur regeneration, but the immediate aftermath of this giant firestorm was devastation. Kangaroos and koalas, wombats and wallabies, endangered possums and gliders, lizards, echidnas, birds of all kinds, and even fish that lived among these eucalypts were overcome by the flames. Millions died. But burned and traumatized survivors tenderly nursed back to health at wildlife hospitals showed a remarkable ability to bounce back, and the environment an extraordinary capacity for healing.
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