Since the bushfires began in September
- Over 11,000,000 acres have burned so far this fire season and summer has only just begun. That area is about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Here in California, we had our most devastating fire season in 2018, during which fires burned a total of 1,670,00 acres for the year.
- At least 23 people have died and 22 are unaccounted for.
- Ecologists estimate that 480 million animals have perished.
- More than 1,500 homes have been destroyed.
- Hundreds of thousands of people have fled from their homes.
- Australia is experiencing record heat, with Penrith having reached 48.9°C today, or 120°F.
Australia has always experienced bushfires but not on this scale. As climate scientist Michael Mann explained in The Guardian earlier this week:
The brown skies I observed in the Blue Mountains this week are a product of human-caused climate change. Take record heat, combine it with unprecedented drought in already dry regions and you get unprecedented bushfires like the ones engulfing the Blue Mountains and spreading across the continent. It’s not complicated.
How to help evacuees
The following organizations accept online donations.
- The Salvation Army provides meals to first responders and evacuees and shelter for evacuees.
- St Vincent de Paul provides food for evacuees and support for those who have lost their homes and belongings.
- The Australian Red Cross provides support to evacuees in NSW and Victoria.
- The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund supports East Gippslanders affected by the fires.
How to help volunteer firefighters
Volunteer firefighters have been battling these blazes without pay.
- You can support the firefighters of the NSW Rural Fire Service by donating to a brigade here. Donate here to the families of three NSW RFS fallen firefighters who lost their lives while battling these blazes.
- South Australia’s County Fire Services supports volunteer fire fighters in the state. Donate here.
How to help animals
Many animals had already been struggling from food and water shortages caused by a protracted drought.
- WIRES rescues sick, injured and orphaned animals in NSW. You can donate here.
- Go here to donate to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital through its Go Fund Me page.
- Go here to donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital through its Go Fund Me page.
People helping each other
The sign reads “Evacuees can use water tap on right side of house, knock for food or shower, tent sites or dog minding or help in general. ❤”