2020 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, 2nd Prize

Bushfire Evacuation Center


Sean Davey

for Agence France-Presse

31 December, 2019

Abigail Ferris (in mask) plays with friends at a temporary evacuation center in Bega, New South Wales, Australia. Abigail and her family had been evacuated from a nearby camping spot during bushfires on New Year’s Eve.

Widespread drought conditions, higher than average temperatures and strong winds triggered devastating bushfires in New South Wales and other regions in Australia, well ahead of the usual bushfire season. By the end of January 2020, more than 30 people had been killed, 3,000 homes lost, and around 12.6 million hectares of land burned (nearly three times the size of the Netherlands). The months from February 2017 to the end of 2019 had been the driest on record in New South Wales for any 36-month period. University of Sydney scientists were among those who saw the drought, low humidity and westerly winds as part of the climate emergency. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison faced a public backlash for his response to the fires and for his continuing reluctance to link them to Australia’ s climate policy.

About the photographer

Sean Davey

Sean Davey has over 20 years experience as a documentary and news photographer.  Davey’s work has been exhibited in many of Australia’s galleries and institut...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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