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.
As more and more heartbreaking statistics surface, it’s truly gut-wrenching.
Thousands of people around the world, including the rich and famous, have been making generous donations to the country and now it seems a Live Aid-style concert is in the works.
Keep scrolling to find out more…
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.
More than 2,200 houses have now 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 has 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.
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 been sending in more firefighters to try and help tackles the blazes.
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… and it has been confirmed that over a billion animals have died.
The country is totally unprepared for the devastation caused to its wildlife. Science for Wildlife executive director Dr Kellie Leigh told the New South Wales upper house inquiry: “We’re getting a lot of lessons out of this and it’s just showing how unprepared we are.
“There’s no procedures or protocols in place – even wildlife carers don’t have protocols for when they can go in after fire.”
Tracy Burgess, a volunteer at Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Services (WIRES), explained how concerning it was that rescuers were not receiving as many animal patients as they expected.
“We’re not getting that many animals coming into care. So, our concern is that they don’t come into care because they’re not there anymore, basically,” she told Reuters.
But the entire world have been working hard together to help, including hundreds of volunteers tirelessly helping the fire services in Australia.
A lot of money has also been donated…
People all around the world have been sending in donations and even the smallest donation of $1 makes the biggest difference.
Celebrities have also been getting involved, including Australian comedian Celeste Barber raising over $45 million for the relief efforts.
Talks of a Live Aid-style concert taking place for Australia are most certainly in place.
And Brian May of the iconic British rock band Queen has confirmed that they have been asked to perform at a charity concert for the victims of the wildfires.
The seventy-two-year-old guitar legend is due to head to Australia in the next few months with Queen and Adam Lambert.
“Of course, we are going there very soon,” he said.
“We are looking at it very carefully. We have been approached to do a benefit concert, or be part of a benefit concert, a bit like Live Aid, if you like, to try and help out the victims of the fire.”
He recently put an end to badger culling in the U.K, and he revealed that it was a “huge blow” to him when he learned of the billion animals that have died in Australia.
“Of course, I am very concerned about the animals,” he continued.
“There’s twenty-four people who have died, which is a tragedy in itself, but [the number of animals] is almost inconceivable.”
“You are looking at a radical change of wildlife in Australia. It’s like a mass extinction, which is something so awful… And we can do nothing about it really,” he went on to say.
“We could have done something about it in the past. We know there are various things that could have been done. But it is a real caution for the rest of the world.”
Make sure to stay tuned for more developments and updates on the charity concert in Australia.