Australian Bushfires: How you can help

Joshua Chadwick By Joshua Chadwick March 11th

Australia is currently dealing with a time of tragedy and hardship, caused by the devastation of bushfires all across our continent, especially on the east coast.

An estimated 6.3 million hectares (63 square KMs) has been burnt, causing the destruction of over 2,500 buildings and the deaths of 25 individuals, with the toll growing still.

This is without mentioning the national wildlife affected by these fires, with half a billion animals perishing before the start of the new year, and many more animals impacted by loss of habitat.

Many of the brave firefighters out there battling the bushfires are also volunteers, attempting to assist in any way possible. While everyone may not be ready to take the fight directly to these fires, others can still help those affected by the destruction of the bushfires.

Donations can help greatly to assist those battling the fires, as well as assist those affected already.

Helping the fire fighters:

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) in NSW are out there protecting the land from the flames, and have an open donation page here.

For those affected in other states, donations can be sent to the organisations below:

  • VIC – VIC’s Country Fire Association (CFA) website
  • SA – CFS’s volunteer firefighters in SA website

Helping impacted communities:

Other organisations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are also supporting people and communities who have suffered from the fires.

This ranges from food and water distribution, to reconnecting families, offering financial and housing support, as well as offering mental health support in these trying times. If you would like to donate to the Red Cross, you can do so here, and for the Salvation Army, you can donate here.

Donating goods:

Givit is also a great service if you cannot afford a monetary donation, as they take donations here for any items needed for those affected by the fires in NSW and Queensland. Foodbank is another service that offers food and water relief to communities under fire in East Gippsland, which takes donations on their website here.

Helping the wildlife:

For our wildlife, many organisations are taking donations to assist the millions of our native animals affected. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have set up a “Help Save Koalas” fund, offering explanation of how your donation can assist koalas in need, which can be found here.

WIRES have also opened an emergency fund for the wildlife in NSW here, while also providing the number of tips to helping out wildlife on your own. For those in VIC, Wildlife Victoria are taking donations also on their website.

Leaving out bowls of water for the animals is also a fantastic idea, as animals escaping danger will be thirsty and may not have access to water. Keeping a box and towel in your car is also a handy tip in case you do come across an injured animal, in which you can transport to the nearest vet.

If you can, tend to those in your community that could be affected even if you’re not in a bushfire zone. The air quality is poor due to the fires, which can devastate many, especially those with breathing issues like asthma, as well as the elderly. This can be done through offers of food, water or even just a chat or a check-up to ensure everyone is safe.

Finally, the communities need desperately to rebuild, that is why they are asking people to visit their towns (if possible) with an empty esky and fill up on local food and beverages to help out the economy which has been so devastatingly impacted by the fires.

Joshua Chadwick
Joshua Chadwick