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.