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How to Donate to Victims of the Australian Bushfires — How to Help Australian Wildlife

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Australia is currently in a state of crisis as the continent is being ravaged by deadly bushfires. While Australia has always had a fire season in the summer due to the hot and dry weather, a combination of drought, high temperatures, and strong winds have contributed to devastating fires over the past months.

Since the fires started in September, about 14.8 million acres of land have been burned, and 20 people have died, according to the BBC, with 17 others reported missing. Thousands have been evacuated, air quality has reached dangerous levels, and in the Australian state New South Wales, almost 1,300 homes were destroyed with hundreds more damaged. Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley told CNN that almost a third of koalas in New South Wales may have been killed and a third of their habitat destroyed, while the BBC reports that an academic study estimated nearly 500 million animals died in New South Wales.

The United States, Canada, and New Zealand have sent firefighters to help, while Australia’s police and military are assisting with rescue and evacuation, but there’s also much you can do. As CNN reports, Australia is only entering its summer season now with hotter temperatures to come. Here’s how you can help:

Give to organizations helping victims and first responders.

Firefighters Continue To Battle Bushfires As Catastrophic Fire Danger Warning Is Issued In NSW

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    Give to organizations assisting wildlife and pets.


    SAEED KHANGetty Images

    • The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, which both work to care for the affected koala population, have set up GoFundMe accounts.
    • The RSPCA of New South Wales is working to protect and evacuate pets, livestock, and wildlife that have been affected by the fires.
    • The WIRES Wildlife Rescue is working to rescue animals, reporting on its website that the organization received over 20,000 calls and volunteers attended over 3,300 rescues just this December.

      Speak up about climate change.

      Evacuations Begin Following East Gippsland Bushfires

      Darrian TraynorGetty Images

      The fires in Australia are just another example of how climate change and extreme weather conditions have intensified natural disasters, a trend that will only continue as political leaders fail to enact substantial policy change related to the climate crisis. Contact your representatives to let them know if this is an issue you expect them to act on.

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