News of the devastating Australian bushfires has faded from the front pages thanks to heavy rainfall, but in the wake of reports of 136 fires in the state of New South Wales alone, smoke reaching across the ocean to New Zealand, and Kangaroo Valley reduced to little more than ash and charred trees, the journey to recovery is just beginning. Experts say the recent rainfall has helped snuff those fires, but they have already had an intense environmental impact. Along with all the land, nearly half a billion animals are estimated to have been killed so far.
Relief efforts have increased. Along with celebrity donations, like Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman donating half a million dollars to relief efforts, there’s a new $1.4 billion bushfire recovery fund from the government of Australia. Social media influencers are also running fundraisers of their own. The Lisa Frank brand will be donating $1 for every new follower they get this week, and Facebook fundraisers have raised millions.
Australia needs our support. You can donate to the NSW Rural Fire Service, the boots on the ground. Firefighters and volunteer community members have struggled to keep the fires contained, and can use your help to restock resources as new problems arise. The Australian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery group helps with all the people hurt and displaced by the fires. They come in after the Fire Service, and donations help the devastated communities begin to recover.
The animals are also in desperate need of support. The Irwins have already treated more than 90,000 animals so far, and continue their hard work in relief efforts. You can help them by donating to Wildlife Warriors to support the construction of new facilities to handle the volume of injured and dying animals or WIRES is another organization dedicated to helping the unique wildlife devastated by the ongoing disaster, specifically in NSW.
Not everyone has spare money to donate to relief efforts. Instead of money, check the lists of requested items on GIVIT, an Australian organization that helps people and charities in disaster areas get specific items they need. More ideas for where to donate, or how to help if you can’t, can be found here.