Australia is in the midst of one of the worst bushfire crises the world has seen. Since September, entire communities have been engulfed by relentless heat and fires. The flames are showing no signs of slowing down – which means only one thing… death tolls are rising.
The legendary Australian family, The Irwins, have been doing their bit to save as many animals from the fires as possible and now another star has done their part to help out.
Chris Hemsworth has also donated a huge amount and he’s not the only star doing their bit.
Scroll on to see how iconic musician, Elton John, is helping out and to see the video of his speech, in which he made a very generous pledge.
Due to soaring temperatures and one of the worst droughts in years, the relentless fires have been burning since September. We’re currently in January. Just let that sink in.
New South Wales is suffering immensely at the moment.
There have been fires reported in every state, but New South Wales is truly taking a beating by bush fires and is undoubtedly the hardest hit.
According to CNN, so far, in New South Wales alone, more than 2000 houses have been destroyed.
What does this mean? Well, it grants “extraordinary powers” to the NSWRFS commissioner, including the authority to allocate government resources and direct government agencies in taking action, according to CNN.
Business Insider reported that close to one hundred and thirty bush fires continue to burn in populated coastal and inland regions to the city’s north.
Including several volunteer firefighters.
Last month, the smoke was so bad in Sydney that air quality measured eleven times the “hazardous” level, CNN reports.
Firefighters all over the country have been tirelessly battling the formidable blazes and are struggling to contain them.
Keep scrolling to see the heartbreaking pictures of the aftermath.
And it was Canada that was the first to respond and take action.
The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, based in Winnipeg, answered the call for help after realizing the bush fire situation is expected to continue for many more weeks and gave up their Christmas to help fight the raging fires.
Including the U.S. and New Zealand, who have sent in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.
There seems to be no end to the blazes.
In total, more than 5.9 million hectares (14.6 million acres) have been burned, CNN reports.
And those who escaped the flames have lost their homes, with all their possessions perishing to the flames.
And are left stranded awaiting evacuation. It’s a truly heartbreaking sight.
Sadly, Australia has only just entered summer, meaning temperatures could remain high for some weeks.
In fact, temperatures usually reach their highest during January and February, so there may be no end in sight for months.
Several of Australia’s native species have been affected including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, possums, wombats, and echidnas.
It’s believed that at least a third of koalas in New South Wales alone have perished in the flames.
And its only set to get worse. But the number that surfaced this week is utterly heartbreaking.
Ecologists from the University of Sydney have said that it’s thought around 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles have died since September.
But, despite the devastating reality of what is happening to the country, not all hope is gone.
For example, P!nk donated a gargantuan $500,000 to the Australian firefighters in an effort to help them finally put an end to the devastation.
Another A-lister has donated a huge amount to the bushfire fund.
Chris Hemsworth has donated a massive one million dollars to the bushfire fund.
But that’s not the only thing…
“Hi everyone. Like you, I want to support the fight against the bushfires here in Australia. My family and I are contributing a million dollars. Hopefully you guys can chip in too,” the Thor actor wrote alongside the clip.
“Every penny counts so whatever you can muster up is greatly appreciated.”
Elton John has also pledged a huge wad of cash to help with the bushfire efforts.
And the final few dates of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour happened to be in Australia.
And while on stage at the packed out Melbourne event, he spoke out about the disasters.
“You should all be in awe of the work that the firefighters are doing. There are people out there who have lost their lives trying to save homes, there are people who have lost their lives and their homes.”
He followed this with a very generous donation.
“Therefore tonight I will be pledging $1million.”
“And to those who have lost their homes, god bless and hope that your lives will be repaired very soon.”
Unfortunately, in spite of generous donations, the crisis is far from over. To see the most powerful images from the Australian bushfire tragedy, scroll on.