How Your Family Can Help Australia Fight Devastating Brushfires

Australia's brushfires are causing unprecedented devastation to the nation's communities and animals. Here are several ways you can make a difference for those affected.

Australian Bushfire Coverage
Photo: Kate Geraghty/The SMH/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

The world is gasping as Australia faces a national crisis in the form of unprecedented levels of destruction caused by wildfires that have claimed the lives of at least 25 people and over 1,500 destroyed homes. NPR is reporting that fire officials in New South Wales said this morning that 69 fires remained uncontained, with a total of 136 fires in the state. Ecologists at the University of Sydney estimate that up to 480 million animals may have perished, including up to 8,000 koalas. And smoke has covered busy metropolitan areas, such as Sydney and Melbourne.

The cause? The Climate Council, an independent, community-funded climate organization, points out that we're now dealing with more dangerous, longer brushfire seasons, drought, drier fuels and soils, and record-breaking heat as a result of the climate crisis.

Given the enormous devastation, a $1.4 billion bushfire recovery fund has been created to help residents, businesses and farmers, according to an announcement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The country also needs other aid sources and to cover the high cost of fighting the fires. Morrison said, "Whatever it takes, and whatever it costs, we will ensure Australians get the support they need to rebuild and recover from these bushfires."

Here, several ways you and your family can help.

Support the firefighters

The majority of the fires are being fought by volunteer firefighting services. And over the past month, American and Canadian firefighters and fire experts have been flown to pitch in. According to the BBC, approximately 3,000 firefighters are on the ground every day battling blazes.

A few ways to support the firefighting efforts:

Donate to relief and recovery funds

In addition to Australia's Red Cross Disaster relief and recovery fund, which helps support evacuation centers and recovery programs for the affected communities, here are a few more funds and organizations that could use donations:

Give funds to aid wildlife

  • Vets Beyond Borders is one of the most recognized international animal health charities in Australia, delivering life-saving and life-changing care to animals affected by the fires. You can donate and support their efforts here.
  • The World Wildlife Fund is taking donations to help support conservation activities, particularly related to koalas. The funds will also provide emergency care during the fires.
  • You can give to Zoos Victoria's Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund which funds emergency vet assistance and "scientific intervention." Donate to the fund here.
  • The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is raising money to search for and protect koalas. You can donate on their GoFundMe page.
  • The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is taking donations to help with vet costs, koala milk and extra enclosures on their GoFundMe.
  • The RSPCA bushfire appeal is used to protect the pets, livestock and wildlife affected by bushfires, helping evacuate animals from disaster zones.
  • You can donate to the organization WIRES, an Australian wildlife rescue organization.
  • Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital's GoFundMe, which has rescued and treated dozens of koalas suffering from severe burns. The hospital is using donations to install automatic drinking stations in burnt areas to help wildlife searching for water and to establish a wild koala breeding program to ensure the survival of the species.

Speak out

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles