Australia is home to a vast expanse of forests that cover approximately 149 million hectares, making up 19% of the country's land. Of this total, 147.4 million hectares are natural, while 1.97 million hectares are planted.

Australia's per capita forest holdings are among the highest in the world, with 7 hectares of forest per capita, while the global average stands at only 0.6 hectares.

However, the vast majority of Australia is arid, with drylands making up 70% of the country's interior. This makes it challenging to support forest growth. Australia's natural forests are predominantly found in regions that receive more than 500mm of annual rainfall. Commercial plantations, on the other hand, are mainly planted in areas that receive more than 700 mm of annual rainfall.

The country's natural forest zones are mainly located in a narrow north-south region along the coast east of the Great Dividing Range.

This area includes a tropical rainforest climate zone in the north, a subtropical monsoonal humid climate in the south-central region, and a temperate maritime climate in the south.

The major forest vegetation types include tropical rainforest, subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest, and temperate deciduous broadleaf forest, in addition to a small amount of subtropical evergreen sclerophyll forest in the Mediterranean climate zone of southwestern Australia. Eucalyptus trees are the most common tree species in Australia.

While Australia has a large number of forest resources per capita, the forests are of great ecological significance, particularly on the eastern coast, where they are concentrated, and which is also the most populated area in the country.

As a result, the Australian Government has set management objectives for its forests, aiming to achieve sustainable forest management while integrating the values and roles of forests in all areas: environmental, economic, and social.

However, Australia's forests face numerous challenges, particularly bushfires. In September 2019, bushfires erupted and continued to burn for nearly four months into 2020, causing widespread damage and destruction.

These fires were out of control, and their extent was hard to predict. According to the Australian Academy of Sciences, approximately half of Australia's bushfires are started by lightning strikes, which can produce the initial spark that starts a bushfire. In hot, dry, and windy weather, fires are highly likely to ignite and continue to burn.

In southeastern Australia, bushfires are prone to occur as grasslands and forests dry out in summer and autumn. In northern Australia, bushfires peak in the dry season, usually throughout winter and spring. Climate change is believed to be contributing to the increased frequency of these fires, and the country's vulnerable ecosystems are at risk of being severely impacted.

To mitigate the risks and impacts of bushfires, the Australian Government has implemented various measures, such as fire prevention and suppression programs, research, and community engagement.

The government has also established the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre to enhance the country's ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters.

In addition to bushfires, Australia's forests face other threats, including deforestation, logging, and climate change. These threats are significant, particularly in areas where forests are fragmented and under pressure from urbanization and land-use changes.

Thus, it is essential to ensure that forests are sustainably managed, with a focus on preserving their ecological, economic, and social values.

Australia's forests are a vital resource, providing ecological, economic, and social benefits to the country. However, they face significant threats, particularly from bushfires, deforestation, logging, and climate change.