(TMU) — As the unprecedented wave of bushfires continue to lay waste to Australia, people across the world have looked in horror as the devastation shows no sign of slowing down.
Over 200 fires continue to burn across the country, with upwards of 12.35 million acres being devastated in the blaze. Some 1,500 homes have been lost since the crisis began in September, while at least 24 people have been killed and dozens remain missing.
Indeed, the past weekend saw a horrible escalation of the months-long crisis, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned on Sunday that the fires may burn for “months to go.” Military reservists have been called up by the thousands to assist in firefighting efforts.
Tragically, over half a billion wild animals are believed to have been killed by the flames. Entire rare and endangered species may have been wiped out. Over 30,000 koalas are feared to have died in the fires, transforming the beloved national mascot into a symbol of a national and global tragedy. Experts fear that the loss of animals could exponentially increase once an accurate count is made.
On the political front, conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has faced fierce criticism for his government’s seeming disregard for the climate crisis and inaction toward the bushfires. On Saturday, reports emerged of firefighters cursing the prime minister and saying that he should “get fucked” and resign.
In the meantime, concerned citizens across the globe have expressed their wish to help displaced evacuees, firefighters, and injured creatures in whatever way possible.
Here’s a few ways you can help.
An unprecedented mass relocation of civilians from Mallacoota is underway with two naval vessels (Choules & Sycamore) set to carry 963 passengers to safety at Western Port. Conditions are smoky but fine in Mallacoota today. #TYFYS @DeptDefence @Australian_Navy pic.twitter.com/dWXz4sabD6
— Darren Chester MP (@DarrenChesterMP) January 2, 2020
Evacuees and Displaced People
- The Australian Red Cross is supporting thousands of people spread out across evacuation and recovery centers across the country.
- The St. Vincent de Paul Society is helping evacuated families recover from the fires by providing food, clothing, assistance with bills, and donating household items to those whose homes went up in flames.
- Foodbank, the largest hunger-relief charity in Australia, is accepting donations of food, services, and funds.
- Help Australia’s indigenous First Nations to rebuild through GoFundMe!
- Givit is accepting donations of food, toiletries, and household items.
Here’s the full clip: “Stand down now. You don’t deserve to govern. You knew this was coming.”
Firefighter who collapsed: “I’ve already lost seven houses in Nelligen. I’m not gonna lose anymore, ********.”
— Angus Duncan (@Angus_Duncan) January 4, 2020
- The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has been bravely fighting on the frontlines of the fires and some have paid the ultimate price for their valiant efforts. The service has set up specific funds for the families of those volunteers who were killed in duty during the crisis.
- Victoria’s firefighting service, Country Fire Authority, is accepting donations. They are also coordinating accommodations for displaced victims of the fires.
- The Country Fire Service in South Australia is accepting direct donations.
- The Rural Fire Brigades Association needs support for firefighters in Queensland.
When the birds start singing fire engine sounds… 😧
Credit: Gregory Andrews, Newcastle. pic.twitter.com/g11BMry1HC
— Isobel Roe (@isobelroe) January 1, 2020
- WIRES, a wildlife rescue nonprofit that is rescuing and caring for thousands of sick, injured, and orphaned native animals, is taking donations.
- Donate to the World Wildlife Fund Australia, which has been devoting its efforts toward saving threatened koalas.
- The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital‘s GoFundMe has been a major success, collecting millions of dollars to help rescue and treat dozens of koalas suffering severe burns. Donations toward the hospital will help set up a network of automatic drinking stations across burnt areas that will be crucial for wildlife to survive, and the hospital is also establishing a wild koala breeding program to ensure that the species can survive after the crisis.
- The RSPCA New South Wales is helping to evacuate, rescue, and treat pets and wildlife in threatened areas.
- A GoFundMe for the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is hoping to help the remote island recover from devastating fires this past weekend that has potentially killed entire rare species. According to the park, donations will go towards veterinary costs, koala milk, supplements, extra holding/rehabilitation enclosures, as well as setting up a building to hold supplies to treat the animals.