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Economic impact of Australia’s bushfires

In recent months we have been inundated with images and news articles about the devastation seen by the giant nation of Australia, in the form of bushfires.


$110 billion


25 million acres


~$200 million


Minderoo Foundation: $70 million



Last update: Mar 11, 2022

The damage on the country, as well as the residents and the wildlife has been nothing short of catastrophic. There has been a massive impact on the economy due to the fires as well.

And we are not simply talking about the Australian economy. On a global scale countries from all over the world are donating to assist in the aftermath.

australian fire detection

Whether it has come from foreign governments or businesses, these fires have had an effect on an international level, with Australia being at the heart of this.

Biggest Donations

Bush Fire Statistics

Lets take into consideration all the factors that are involved with the bush fires. From finances to deaths and emergency services to wildlife, there are some shocking statistics.
State Fatalities
Sydney Territory1
New South Wales 25
Northern Territory 0
South Australia 3
Western Australia 0
Total Fatalities33


  • The area which was burned by the bush fires measures over 25 million acres. This is a similar size to the country of South Korea.
  • Bush fires burned all over Australia and within all six of its states. New South Wales was the most prominently affected.
  • The fires are 80 times larger, in terms of area compared to the California fires that we saw in 2019. The fires are the worst in recent Australian history.
  • In the capital city of Canberra, the air pollution was really alarming. It was 23x more polluted, than is advised to be safe for humans.
  • Smoke from the bush fires has drifted out over 11,000 miles to sea. This reached as far as some South American countries.
  • An estimate from NASA states that 306 million tonnes of carbon dioxide has been released as a direct result of the fires.

Financial Impact Of The Bush Fires In Australia

Money makes the world go round, and there is no greater time that it is needed than in a state of emergency, and the world stepped up to help Australia in its time of need. But what exactly has been the economical impact as a result of these fires? Let's take a look at some of the financial statistics relating to the bush fires.
  • As a direct result of the bush fires, Australia's tourism industry has suffered a massive loss of 1 billion dollars.
  • Chair of Amazon, Jeff Bezos recently announced that the company would be donating a whopping 1 million Australian dollars to help with the costs of recovering from the fires.
  • Many Australian celebrities contributed out of their own pocket to the bush fire funds with people like Chris Hemsworth donating a hefty $1 million to the cause, and Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman stepping up to the mark by each donating half a million each.
  • It was not only Aussie celebrities who wanted to pledge their help but foreign ones too with Sir Elton John kindly offering up a million of his own money.
  • The Minderoo Foundation gave $70 million as a donation to the fire fund, further showing that Australia was willing to help itself.
  • Many Australian banks and businesses are also keen to assist with the clean up and have donated millions between them, this includes Quantas donating $1 million and the AFL donating $2.5 million.
  • Pink, Metallica and McDonald's who all donated half a million dollars each.
In total almost $200 million has been donated so far and the numbers keep on rising. Around half of this figure has come from within Australia with the rest being made in donations from global countries and personalities.

Nature and wildlife

  • Some of Australia's endangered species are thought to have gone extinct because of the bush fires.
  • A shocking 1 billion animals are believed to have died in the bush fires. This is a devastating blow to Australia's ecosystems.
  • Countless trees have been destroyed, further adding to the deaths and extinction of many animals who call the trees home.


  • As of the middle of February 2020, as many as 3000 homes have been destroyed by the bush fires in Australia. When you take into consideration the addition number of non residential buildings, the amount of damaged buildings rises to almost 6000.
  • 33 people have been killed as a result of the fires, the deaths have been for a variety of reasons including people being trapped in a burning location and smoke inhalation.
  • A massive quarter of a million people were told to evacuate their homes due to the dangers posed by the bush fires and many sought shelter on beaches, especially in New South Wales.
  • Two helicopters and an air tanker crashing during rescue operations have resulted in the deaths of three people working for the emergency services.
  • Just shy of 2000 fire fighters were employed in New South Wales alone in order to tackle the fires, this would have put a massive drain on financial resources for the emergency services in Australia.

Huge Financial Drains

When we look at these figures, it is a comfort to know that despite the massive negative impact that these bush fires have had on the economy, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

State Homes lost
Sydney Territory0
New South Wales 2400+
Northern Territory 5
South Australia 150+
Western Australia 1
Total Fatalities3500+

It is clear, that Australia has not just suffered the loss of an immense amount of money where tourism is concerned but has suffered financially in many other areas.

For example, the rebuilding of homes that has been destroyed is going to be a hefty sum, and this coupled with the $1 billion that has already been claimed in insurance payouts means that the country will very likely struggle in the immediate future.

The Australian bush fires were, in every sense, a devastation not only for the country, but for the entire world. Australia has been affected in so many ways as a result of these bush fires but one of the most heart breaking is the damage that has been suffered by the economy which is, no doubt going to take time to heal.

The hospitalization of those who were injured during the bush fires has put enormous strain on the finances of the pubic healthcare system as well as being a huge financial drain on the emergency services.

And of course, we are not to forget the unemployment that has come as a direct result of the fires, with the sheer amount of physical businesses that have been destroyed, many people now find themselves out of work.

This will, of course financially affect the Australian government as more and more people will be applying for welfare.

As far as wildlife is concerned, a huge amount of money is now going to have to be ploughed into research and conservation efforts meaning that further strain on the Australian economy will be evident.

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