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Kangaroo Island Bushfire Declared Contained After Weeks Of Destruction

For many Australians, the past four months have been a waking nightmare. Fires have ravaged so much of the nation that a record 15.6 million million acres have burned in the blazes.

And the cost to lives in the region has been even greater as 28 people have died and the death toll among local wildlife has been estimated to exceed a billion creatures.

With such grave issues at hand, it's easy to feel as though the situation is hopeless. And yet, the constant and grueling work that the international firefighters tasked with fighting the blazes have had to face does seem to be producing some encouraging results.

And while it seems like the best we can do is take the small victories where we can, one of these victories is undeniably significant.

Off the coast of southwestern Australia lies Kangaroo Island, a land featuring scores of unique animals that's been compared to Noah's Ark.

Reddit | kernpanic

As the BBC reported, the reason that the island has retained such a unique ecosystem with creatures such as glossy black-cockatoos, Kangaroo Island dunnarts, pygmy possums, and southern brown bandicoots is that foxes and rabbits were never introduced there.

And so, the natural scene of the island was able to look more or less as Australia at large would have thousands of years ago.

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Since December 20, however, raging bushfires have put this island at "apocalyptic risk."

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Although the extent of the damage isn't entirely known yet, it is now possible that about half of the island has been destroyed with some fires around the Vivonne Bay reportedly burning right up to the sea.

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It's also clear that a staggering number of animals on the island have already met a grim fate.

Reddit | outdatedopinion

As the BBC reported, military personnel from Australia and New Zealand have already discovered the bodies of hundreds of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and birds.

They've also had to dig trenches to bury thousands of livestock animals such as sheep and cattle.

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All the while, firefighters found themselves in an uphill battle to contain the blazes.

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According to 7News in Australia, hundreds of firefighters have been working endlessly for over three weeks to secure and contain "fire edges" where the flames were at risk of spreading further.

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By January 21, however, the South Australian County Fire Service announced that Kangaroo Island's fires were officially contained.

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Of course, it's important to note that "contained" does not mean the same thing as "out."

As 7News reported, this instead refers to the fact that firefighters have stopped the fire from spreading further and that no fires have started outside of this fire edge for multiple days.

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Unfortunately, those firefighters will still have a great deal of work ahead of them to ensure the fires stay contained.

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As windy weather that has already exacerbated the spread of fires throughout Australia is expected within the coming days, they'll have to remain as vigilant as ever.

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This containment announcement comes in the wake of the South Australia state tourism launching the #BookThemOut campaign.

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As 7News reported, this campaign encourages tourists to visit areas that have been affected by the bushfires to help stabilize their local economies.

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This campaign seeks to reverse the understandable decline in tourism throughout the country as news of the bushfires spread.

Reddit | holisticvagabond

As Rodney Harrex of the South Australian Tourism Commission said, "Help them out, #BookThemOut is a strong message that the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island remain amazing, unique holiday destinations with incredible consumer experiences, and these regions need tourism to thrive and survive."

h/t: BBC, 7News

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