A look at Australia’s wildfires and how to help the victims

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Bushfires across Australia have been burning for more than two months — and at a steady pace.

Roughly 12.35 million acres have burned to date, killing at least 24 people and demolishing more than 2,000 homes.

Australia has been affected by a drought, specifically on its eastern region since early 2017. That’s when a record breaking low for rainfall was recorded.

The map below shows an overlay of Australia on the United States. The fires are not scaled to size but rather provide an estimation of where in the country the fires are burning.

The area of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have been most heavily affected — but the fires are popping up throughout the entire country. In New South Wales alone, there are more than 130 fires burning and 70 of those are not contained.

Additionally, an estimated 480 million wildlife animals have died since the start of the fire season in September. This includes nearly 25,000 koala bears.

Below are a few organizations to which people can give if they are interested in helping victims of the fires. This list was compiled by CBS.

How to help evacuees

  • Donate to the Australian Red Cross, which is supporting thousands of people in evacuation and recovery centers across the country. Local residents can volunteer their services.
  • Donate to the Salvation Army Australia, which is providing meals and support to evacuees and first responders in multiple locations. 
  • Extra room in your home? Offer to host people in need of emergency housing on AirBnB
  • Donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which is helping evacuated families recover. The organization is providing food and clothing, helping cover bills, and donating household items to those whose homes have been destroyed.
  • Donate food, funds or services to Foodbank, the largest hunger-relief charity in Australia. 
  • Donate to a GoFundMe dedicated to displaced First Nations Communities that need to rebuild. 
  • Donate food, toiletries and household items using Givit.

How to help firefighters

How to help wildlife

  • Donate to WIRES, a wildlife rescue nonprofit that is rescuing and caring for thousands of sick, injured and orphaned native animals.
  • Donate to the World Wildlife Fund Australia, which is directing its efforts towards koala conservation.
  • Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital‘s GoFundMe, which has rescued and treated dozens of koalas suffering from severe burns. The hospital is using donations to install automatic drinking stations in burnt areas to help wildlife searching for water and to establish a wild koala breeding program to ensure the survival of the species.
  • Donate to the RSPCA New South Wales, which is helping evacuate, rescue and treat pets and wildlife in threatened areas.

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