Raging Fires Continue to Devastate Australia
While many rang in the new year with celebrations, fireworks and toasts, thousands in Australia were forced to evacuate due to the unprecedented rage of wildfires threatening to destroy their homes, towns and wildlife. On January 1st, Reuters reported that tens of thousands were forced to leave east coast seaside towns, many evacuated with the help of naval military ships and helicopters. Fires have been burning since July, but have escalated recently with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) and with no signs of immediate reprieve. In fact, the current state of emergency in New South Wales urges residents to flee as the blazes threaten more and more territory. CBS reports the devastation of three million hectares (7 million acres) in New South Wales alone, not including other impacted parts of the country. Most of Australia’s resources to fight these fierce fires have been depleted as thousands of volunteer fire fighters have worked day in and day out to combat these ferocious blazes. Other countries have begun to send in personnel reinforcements and aid is definitely needed.
See links below to organizations accepting donations to directly assist those who have lost so much as a result of these raging fires:
RedCross.org.au – The Red Cross
Rfs.nsw.gov.au – NSW Rural Fire Department
CFSfoundation.org.au – Provides financial assistance to volunteer firefighters and their families
Cfa.vic.gov.au – Country Fire Authority