Browse all

5 ways to help fire-ravaged Australia

From support for the Red Cross to adopt a koala

5 ways to help fire-ravaged Australia From support for the Red Cross to adopt a koala

Australia is burning. The fires have been starting since last September, most of them caused by lightning, but also by humans. About eight million hectares of land between New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland ( which is twice the size of the 2019 fires in Siberia and the Amazon combined, and four-fifths of all Italian forests) have been burned, including vast wooded areas surrounding Sydney, national parks and protected areas, such as the popular Blue Mountains, which are habitats for many endangered plant and animal species. The situation is not catastrophic as some people claim, but certainly very dramatic.

"In only four years in the last 50 years the area burned in Australia has exceeded one million hectares, and today it has almost reached three times the second most dramatic year (1974 with 3.5 million hectares covered)".

Giorgio Vacchiano, a researcher in silviculture and forest planning at the University of Milan, wrote in a long Facebook post explaining the causes, development and possible solutions of this crisis, helping us to distinguish between truth and fake news.

From Greta Thunberg to Leonardo Di Caprio, many celebrities have shared posts on social networks and the hashtag #preyforaustralia, to raise awareness about what's happening in Australia. For example, Chris Hemsworth announced on his Instagram account that he had donated one million dollars and suggested to his followers to do what they can: 

"Every penny counts so whatever you can muster up is greatly appreciated. In my bio I’ve added links to support the fire fighters, organisations and charities who are working flat out to provide support and relief during this devastating and challenging time."


Adopt a Koala with WWF

The fires have destroyed vast areas of forest, endangering not only the flora but also the fauna of the continent. According to WWF Australia, more than one billion animals have died, as direct or indirect consequence, among birds, reptilians and mammals, such as the popular koalas. With a minimum donation of 30€ to the WWF, it is possible to adopt a koala, supporting the recovery centres which help and treat the injured specimens, thus contributing also to stop their extinction. 

Here is the link.


Support WIRES

The fire season is still long and it is expected that temperatures, which have already reached their historical record highs, will continue to rise and could potentially burn up to 15 million hectares of land. One way to make a small contribution is to support WIRES, the largest non-profit wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity in Australia. 

Here is the link.


Make a donation to the Australian Red Cross

Since September, the fires that have not only caused profound damage to nature, but also to the population: 25 confirmed victims, missing persons, over 1,500 homes have been destroyed and thousands of people have been evacuated and injured. The Australian Red Cross is helping them.

Here is the link.


Make a donation to Givit

Givit is an Australian non-profit organization that is an Australian organization that matches donated goods with items that are specifically requested by victims of the fires. If you are actually in Australia you can provide requested things like mattresses, fridges, and food, car batteries, fence posts and gas pumps, but if you’re not you can make donations that will be used to purchase them.

Here is the link.


Support Australian fire services

The smoke from the fires has traveled thousands of kilometers reaching New Zealand (where it seems that the ash has yellowed the glaciers, thus accelerating their melting) and even South America. The air in many Australian cities is so unbreathable that last week in Canberra was recorded the worst air quality in the world. It is difficult to remedy the situation in a short time, but extinguishing the fire would certainly help. Of course, leading the way on this front are the Australian firefighters. Their work is difficult. As Giorgio Vacchiano explains:

"to extinguish a fire, it is necessary to eliminate the fuel. The water and the retardant launched by aircrafts can only slow down the combustion (by cooling the fuel or chemically delaying the combustion reaction), however, it takes the ground squads to do it".

Donations can be made to various fire departments such as the New South Wales Fire Service, the SA Country Fire Service, the Tasmania Fire Service, the Western Australia Fire Service.