- Massive bushfires are continuing to rage across Australia.
- The fires have claimed dozens of lives, and destroyed thousands of homes. The smoke is even turning the sky in New Zealand orange – about 1,200 miles away.
- More than a billion animals are feared to have died so far, and thousands have also been receiving hospital treatment.
- There are several ways to help – many organisations are taking donations to support rescuers and others affected by the bushfires.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The bushfires raging in Australia have taken a massive toll on animals – more than a billion of them are thought to have died so far, in what is only the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Fires have burned an estimated 25.5 million acres since September, according to Reuters. The fires have claimed dozens of lives, and destroyed thousands of homes. The fires are so massive, smoke from them has been turning the sky in New Zealand orange – which is about 1,200 miles away. By comparison, the massive Amazon Rainforest fires in 2019 burned an estimated 17.5 million acres.
Celebrities and other well-known figures throughout the world have been calling on the public to join them in helping Australians, while Celeste Barber’s Facebook bushfire fundraiser is officially the largest in the platform’s history, raising over $US28.5 million in just four days.
The fires have had a heartbreaking impact on pets and wild animals too – tens of thousands of koalas are feared dead on Kangaroo Island alone, and last week, the family of late wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin announced that their animal hospital in Queensland had treated more than 90,000 animal patients.
Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Services (WIRES) volunteer and carer Tracy Burgess holds a severely burnt brushtail possum rescued from fires near Australia’s Blue Mountains on December 29.
WIRES volunteer and carer Tracy Dodd holds a kangaroo with burnt feet pads after being rescued from bushfires in the Blue Mountains on December 30.
A dog visits the burnt-out property of its owner’s family member in Kia, Australia, on January 8.
A weary kangaroo shelters on a patch of green grass surrounded by burnt bushland along the Princes Highway near Milton on January 5.
In this image made from video taken on December 22, and provided by Oakbank Balhannah CFS, a koala drinks water from a bottle given by a firefighter in Cudlee Creek, South Australia.
A dehydrated and injured Koala receives treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie on November 2.
A pet cat sits quietly in its animal carrier at the evacuation centre in the Bomaderry Bowls Club in Bomaderry on January 5.
Bec Winter stands next to her son, Riley, while hugging her horse Charmer, who she rode to safety through bushfires on New Year’s Eve in Moruya.
Adelaide wildlife rescuer Simon Adamczyk is seen with a koala rescued at a burning forest near Cape Borda on Kangaroo Island.
Animals are seen in Cobargo, as bushfires continue in New South Wales, Australia on January 5.
Giraffes at the Mogo Zoo in Mogo on January 8.
An injured koala receives treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital after its rescue from a bushfire on November 19.
WIRES volunteer and carer Tracy Dodd holds a kangaroo with burnt feet pads after it was rescued from bushfires in the Blue Mountains on December 30.
A cat sits in a makeshift joey pouch crafted for animals affected by Australia’s bushfires, seen in this January 6 image obtained via social media, in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Chickens mill around a burnt-out property in Kiah on January 8.
A Red Heeler dog lies on the ground at the Cobargo evacuation centre in Cobargo on January 6.
Local aboriginal man Anthony Thomas is seen at his uncle’s property, destroyed by bushfires, in Kiah on January 8.
- Australia’s bushfires are ravaging the country. Here’s how it all happened.
- More than a billion animals are feared dead in Australia’s bushfires
- Australian babies are being born in smoke-filled hospitals as hundreds of bushfires burn across the country
- I fled the bushfires in Australia, spent New Year’s Eve in an emergency shelter, and photographed the whole thing. Here’s what the apocalyptic nightmare looks like on the ground.
- Surreal photos show smoke from Australia’s bushfires turning the sky in New Zealand orange – 1,200 miles away
- Here are 8 ways you can donate money to Australia’s bushfire relief effort
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