The bushfires in Australia show no signs of slowing down or being tamable and it’s impossible to understate the devastation of the unprecedented climate crisis.
At least 23 people and more than half a billion wild animals have been killed, about 12.35 million acres have been scorched and more than 1,400 homes have been destroyed in the fires.
As the sky turned blood-red and the air filled with smoke, entire communities were forced to flee their towns and seek safety on the shore.
“We evacuated to the beach and looked back, and watched a number of our neighbors' houses explode,” Australian Tim Brown told Inside Edition.
Brown's house was spared when the wind changed, but 50 homes in his area were destroyed.
Meanwhile, volunteer fire departments put themselves in the line of danger to try to tame the flames.
Organizations working to help those affected need help themselves. Here’s what you can do.
Donate to Local Fire Services
Help Those Helping Others
Donate to the Australian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery. The funds raised towards their Disaster Relief and Recovery work will support Red Cross emergency service teams who are responding to the current fires in New South Wales and Queensland, as well as across Australia and further afield.
Donors’ efforts will ensure they have trained volunteers, aid workers and staff ready to respond as soon as a disaster strikes in Australia and overseas.
Funds raised will also help to prepare people for any emergency, by making a plan that’s right for them and their family, wherever they live and whatever risks they face.
The Salvation Army Australia is providing meals and support to evacuees and first responders in multiple locations.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society is also helping evacuated families recover by providing food, clothing, funds to help cover bills and household items to those whose homes have been destroyed.
Help Save the Wildlife
WIRES is an organization committed to helping the wildlife in Australia. “Many animals were already struggling with a lack of water and food due to the drought. With the fires destroying unprecedented amounts of habitat, food shortages have increased and lack of suitable habitat will be a significant long-term challenge for surviving wildlife,” writes the organization, which has worked to rescue and care for native animals for more than 30 years.
WIRES typically has more than 25,00 volunteers in 28 branches involved in the rescue and care of wildlife. On average, it receives up to 95,000 requests for rescue advice and assistance every year.
The RSPCA New South Wales is also helping rescue, evacuate and treat wildlife – and pets—threatened by the fires.
If you are safe and have the space, consider hosting people in need through AirBnB.
Food, toiletries and household items can be donated through Givit.