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Here’s how you can help the victims of Australia’s devastating wildfires

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WATCH: Canadians craft solutions for Australian animals affected by bush fires. – Jan 7, 2020

Enormous, wildfires have engulfed much of Australia, ravaging the country for weeks with no indication of respite any time soon.

The fires have now killed 25 people and have destroyed more than 2,000 homes. Others have been forced to evacuate.

The bushfires, raging since September, have now burned more than 10.3 million hectares of land.

READ MORE: Crews race to contain devastating Australia wildfires as damage bill soars

Officials estimate hundreds of thousands of animals have also died as a result of the blazes.

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By Tuesday, 130 fires were still burning ⁠— 50 of which were considered to be “out of control.”

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As the fires continue to wreak havoc in Australia, a number of organizations have mobilized in order to provide aid.

Here’s a list of ways you can help.

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Australian Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross is helping to support thousands of people in evacuation centres and recovery hubs across Australia, according to its website.

The organization says it is also providing emergency grants to people to help cover the costs of their immediate needs.

The Australian Red Cross is accepting monetary donations, as well as collecting clothing and household goods at affiliated shops in Australia.

 
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Bushfires cause red skies and black ash on New South Wales beach – Jan 6, 2020

For those in Australia, the Red Cross is also seeking volunteers. Once trained, volunteers are deployed to fill emergency positions.

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Currently, no volunteers from Canada are on the ground in Australia, a spokesperson from the Canadian Red Cross told Global News, but that could change at any time.

The Canadian Red Cross says it is on “standby mode” and is waiting to receive notification from its Australian counterpart to send help.

READ MORE: Australia’s prime minister defends his government’s climate policy as fires rage

Salvation Army Australia

The Salvation Army is collecting donations it said will be used to provide meals to evacuees and frontline responders.

The organization said a number of teams have been activated to multiple locations, with a number of additional teams on standby.

Givit

Australian organization Givit matches those seeking assistance with specific items they need.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a number of items were listed as “needed” including work clothing, grocery vouchers and personal care items.

Canadians looking to help can make a monetary donations. According to its website, Givit uses 100 per cent of the money received to purchase “essential items.”

READ MORE: Australia wildfires threaten endangered creatures on Kangaroo Island

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Helping First Nations communities

A designated crowdfunding page has also been set up to provide aid to First Nations communities impacted by the fires.

According to the page, the aim of the fundraiser is to offer “culturally sensitive, specific, direct support to some of those communities with critical costs to cover expenses.”

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The page said the funds will be used to purchase requested necessary items where appropriate and will be “allocated directly” to impacted communities to facilitate support.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the page had raised $596,006 of its $1 million goal.

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Helping firefighters

Those looking to support the firefighters on the front-line of the battle can do so by donating to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Victoria’s Country Fire Authority, the Country Fire Service in South Australia or the Queensland Rural Fire Brigades Association.

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Australia wildfires continue to burn, leave roads flanked with flames and scorched earth – Jan 4, 2020

Helping animals in Australia

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 95 per cent of Australia’s koala population has been lost.

The WWF is now making an “urgent appeal” for monetary donations. Those looking to help can visit their website for more information on how to ‘adopt a koala.’

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Firefighter bottle-feeds koala water in Australia as bushfires rage on – Dec 23, 2019

The RSPCA of New South Wales is also seeking monetary donations.

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The organization is currently assisting at evacuation centres, helping keep pets and livestock safe from the fires.

According to the RSPCA website, once the active fire zones clear, they will enter the affected areas to assess and aid any injured animals.

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Kangaroo rescued from Australia guzzles from glass of water – Dec 23, 2019

The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is also seeking donations to cover veterinary costs, milk and supplements, extra holding and rehabilitation enclosures and to set up a building to house and treat injured animals.

On Tuesday, the park said workers had rescued koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, an eagle and a possum from the fire grounds.

How is Canada helping?

On Sunday Canada’s foreign affairs minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Canada is “prepared to provide further assistance as necessary.”

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“When wildfires spread through Canadian communities, Australia answered our call for help, We are proud to do the same,” he said in a statement.

READ MORE: Canada prepared to provide further assistance to Australia if needed: minister

Champagne said since Dec. 3, almost 100 Canadian fire management personnel have been deployed to Australia to help battle the blazes.

A total of 21 Canadians were deployed to Australia over the weekend.

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More Alberta firefighters heading to Australia to help battle wildfires – Jan 6, 2020

Another eight left on Monday to join the group of Canadians assisting with planning and logistics in Australia.

In a tweet on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will “help our great friends get through this.”

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-With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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