Firefighters Save Australia’s Endangered ‘Dinosaur Trees’ From Raging Bushfires

Firefighters Save Australia’s Endangered ‘Dinosaur Trees’ From Raging Bushfires
A helicopter hovers above the Wollemi National Park as part of the operations to protect these trees from the bush fires. (Photo: Courtesy of New South Wales Government)

The Wollemi Pines in Australia are like nothing else in the world. These so-called “dinosaur trees” live in northwest Sydney, and they were extremely close to being burned over and lost forever. In a rare victory among all the Very Sad News coming out of the

in a statement. "The pines, which prior to 1994 were thought to be extinct and whose location is kept secret to prevent contamination, benefited from an unprecedented environmental protection mission."

Look at that beauty! (Photo: Courtesy of New South Wales Government)

Saving these trees is a bright spot in an otherwise pretty bleak fire season. Roughly 26.4 million acres have burned across Australia, creating a host of problems for humans and forests alike. It's likely some places have been permanently altered by the flames.

An estimated 1.25 billion animals have perished in the fires. A third of Kangaroo Island"home to unique ecosystems and species"has burned over. And trees that are sacred to the Aboriginal people known as scarred trees have likely been lost, breaking a connection with past generations. So the survival of these old-arse trees is something to celebrate.

Climate change is driving extreme heat in Australia, which is contributing to this outburst of fires. As the world continues to warm, the continent will face even more threats from out-of-control flames. This is one battle the Wollemi Pines have won in a war that's only beginning.