Australia is continuing to battle with the month-long bushfire crisis, where almost 2,000 houses have been destroyed. Starting in September, the fires have only travelled further across the eastern and southern coast, burning 15.6 million acres. The bushfires have killed at least 25 people and millions of animals, while crew members are preparing for worsening conditions.
The support Australia has received from across the world has been phenomenal. Australian comedian, Celeste Barber, has helped raise nearly $50 million in four days for NSW Rural Fire Services. The Facebook fundraiser to support Australia has become the largest ever created on a global social media platform, and it is continuing to grow daily. Elton John pledged $1 million to help Australia at his concert in Sydney, after giving an emotional speech. Chris Hemsworth also took to Instagram to urge people to donate, while also giving $1 million to the cause. Many more celebrities like, Pink, Kylie Minogue and Nicole Kidman gave a generous $500,000 to support Australia in this devastating time.
During this crisis, heartbreaking videos of animals trying to escape the fires have emerged in order to gain attention from the public. The viral videos show the frightened animals trusting the public to help them, such as the Koala taking water from a passing cyclist and the kangaroo hugging the brave woman who helped it. Koala bears have been pictured with burns and singed fur all over them, which isn’t always able to be treated. In December, federal environment minister Sussan Ley stated that nearly a third of all koalas in NSW have died and about a third of their habitat is destroyed. This is devastating, and although Koalas and Kangaroos are not currently at threat of going extinct, due to them being all over Australia, it is their habitat that officials are worried about.
Australia is used to fires; however, with the climate crisis, December had a heatwave that reached the record highest temperature. The animals are used to dealing with fires, but due to the cities being built, there isn’t much more land for them to escape to. With officials fearing a mega blaze, despite the rainfall, it is unclear how long this crisis will go on. There is no way to know how the people and animals of Australia will cope once it comes to an end.
There are many ways to support Australia in this climate crisis, through Celeste Barber’s Facebook fundraisers to support the NSW Rural Fire Service or official organisation sites such as Red Cross Disaster. Donations are what they currently need, rather than supplies as it is hard to get to them, sort and store. You can choose charities that support animals, such as RSPCA bushfire appeal to protect pets, livestock and wildlife. As well as World Wildlife Fund, that supports conservation activities.
Links to attach to the charities mentioned above
RSPCA bushfire https://www.rspcansw.org.au/bushfire-appeal/
World Wildlife Fund https://donate.wwf.org.au/donate/2019-trees-appeal-koala-crisis