[Last updated: 10/01/2020, with figures accurate as of 8/01/2020]
Australia is burning. You might have heard about it, but you might not have, because we're in the arse end of the world. 10.7 MILLION hectares has burnt or is burning, and we have three more months of fire season to go. To put that in perspective: that is almost the ENTIRE STATE OF TENNESSEE (10.9 million hectares). It's bigger than THE ENTIRE COUNTRY OF ICELAND (10.3 million hectares). Over a billion animals are dead [link contains twitter embed with photos of dead animals] and many endangered species could go extinct from these fires. 25 people have died already, with every day seemingly bringing another confirmed death, with thousands possibly to come from smoke inhalation. It's causing apocalyptic skies and breathing problems in Aotearoa NZ, which is 2,000km away. and can be seen in Chile, 11,000km away. The most horrific footage has come from the Victorian town of Mallacoota, which was not evacuated; as the fire raged people had to go into the sea, cowering from the burning embers. Meanwhile in the cities, we're not at risk from the flames themselves -- but the smoke from the bushfires is causing the worst pollution in the world. (Bonus Sydney edition!)
Also, did I mention all of our firefighters are volunteers who are having to take unpaid leave from their jobs for this? And they were unable to do their traditional Christmas fundraisers, a huge source of income for the constantly-underfunded fire services?
If you want a map of the current fires, you'll have to go state by state, I'm afraid: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia. (Tasmania seems to have escaped for now.)
Meanwhile, our government not only caused this, but its reaction has been, to put it frankly, absolutely shithouse.
The question you might be asking (hopefully) is: how can you help? And I have good news for you: you don't have to be in this hellcountry to assist! What's more, several HPFT members have offered things in exchange for proof of donation (don't worry, donation links to follow; all figures in Australian dollars):
- I, Emma, will write you a oneshot or make you a podfic if you donate at least $10.
- @melian will write you a fic if you donate at least $10.
- @RonsGirlFriday will write you a fic or make you a podfic if you donate at least $10.
- @CheekyTorah-Lex will write you a 1.5k word fic if you donate at least $5.
- @MadiMalfoy will make you a picspam for any donation, and for at least $10 will write a drabble as well.
- @MalfoysAngel will leave you one review per $10 you donate.
- @TreacleTart will leave you ten reviews or write you something if you donate.
- @sibilant will leave you one review for every $2 you donate.
- @just.a.willow.tree will draw you a sketch (of characters, animals etc.) if you donate $5.
- @MegGonagall will make you a picspam for any donation made.
- @Finefrenzy__ will do a picspam for any donation above $1, and a banner/review for $10.
Please don't double-dip! If you desperately want to take advantage of two offers, then make two donations. Contact your preferred gift-giver by twitter or PM and show proof of donation to claim!
Where to donate: (all these links should work internationally this time unless specified!)
- New South Wales Rural Fire Service
- South Australian Country Fire Service
- Victorian Country Fire Authority (this link is Australia-only unless you want to laboriously email someone, sigh)
- Queensland Fire Relief
- Fire Relief Fund For First Nations Communities
- WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.)
- Currumbin Wildlife Hospital
- Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
- Native Animal Rescue Group
- Australian Red Cross