Wildfires have ravaged the southeast states of Australia over the past few months, with officials warning that they are likely to get worse during the continent's summer months, compounded by devastating drought conditions and record-high temperatures.
The blazes have destroyed over 2,000 homes and killed at least 24 people, according to local officials.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service, which is fighting the blazes, stated on its website that the best way to help relief and evacuation efforts is to donate money, rather than physical items. Here are some organizations to contribute to:
An estimated half billion mammals, birds and reptiles have died from the fires, according to reports, including potentially 30% of the region's koala population. Entire species are under threat of being wiped out completely.
Local wildlife nonprofits are working every day to protect and care for animals affected by the blazes, including:
The Salvation Army Australia and Australian Red Cross are on the ground aiding with recovery and evacuation efforts. Other organizations providing aid include:
- The St. Vincent de Paul Society Australia is providing food, clothing and other necessities to affected families
- The NSW Rural Fire Service is fighting the fires and has lost at least two firefighters to the blazes
- Blazeaid is also providing support to victims throughout the region
You can also find a centralized hub of GoFundMe campaigns here, all verified by GoFundMe.
The NSW Rural Fire Service reminds those donating to be wary of potential scammers: They note on their website that they would never solicit contributions over the phone. Instead, the best practice is to donate directly through an organization's website so you can ensure the fund's are making it to their intended destination.
This post is being updated as more information becomes available.