Uncontrollable bushfires are raging across Australia, with a staggering number of animals – over a billion – now dead. The destruction has led Lucifer star Tom Ellis and his wife Meaghan Oppenheimer to take action and ask all Lucifans to pitch in to help.
The fires are a direct result of changing climate patterns across the earth.
Australian National University climate scientist Imran Ahmed said there was a direct link “because what climate change does is exacerbate the conditions in which the bushfires happen.”
Glenda Wardle, an ecologist from the University of Sydney, added: “It’s not every weather event that is the direct result of climate change. But when you see trends, it becomes undeniably linked to global climate change.”
Unseasonably high temperatures and drought over the last three months have contributed to the conditions that have allowed the fires to proliferate.
“One of the key drivers of fire intensity, fire spread rates and fire area is temperature. And in Australia we’ve just experienced record high temperatures,” said Mark Howden, director of the Climate Change Institute at Australian National University.
Parts of the country are bathed in red due to the massive fires.
A report by the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said that last Spring, there was the highest fire weather danger with record high values right across the country.
The wildfires are among the worst to hit Australia since the so-called Black Saturday fires in 2009 which killed 173 people.
The impact on wildlife continues to be felt, with with the University of Sydney estimating that as many as a billion mammals, birds and reptiles have perished.
The group Wildlife Rescue (WIRES) said that the flames have devastated numbers of koalas, possums, kangaroos and wallabies.
“We have lost countless precious lives in these fires and many more are likely to die of their injuries and starvation. The fire affected areas are vast and remote.
“Our beautiful and diverse World Heritage listed National Parks which provide our native wildlife with their best protections have been devastated,” said Vickii Lett, WIRES NSW Koala coordinator.
To help Rescue Wildlife from the Australian Bushfires, Lucifer actor Tom Ellis and his wife Meaghan Oppenheimer have started a GoFundMe fundraiser.
All the money collected will go to NSW WILDLIFE INFORMATION RESCUE AND EDUCATION SERVICE INCORPORATED.
My wife and I are devastated by the climate crisis in Australia including the 500 million animals that have perished. We have started a GoFundMe page, and all proceeds will go to @WIRES_NSW, a fantastic non profit in Australia helping save the wildlife https://t.co/p826gQDZKa
— tom ellis (@tomellis17) January 6, 2020
The photos of animals dying in Australia right now are breaking my heart. @tomellis17 & I have started a GoFundMe, all $ will go to @WIRES_NSW – a group currently rescuing wildlife from the fires. If you can donate, please do, otherwise please share. https://t.co/c6VIM0RcaA
— Meaghan Oppenheimer (@MoppyOpps) January 6, 2020
The donations, as of Tuesday, had far surpassed the initial $20K goal, now at over $55K.
“We have doubled our goal!” wrote Tom and Meaghan on the page. “Thank you all so much. Sadly, the estimated death toll has risen to 1 billion animals, so please keep donating and sharing if you can. Thank you!”
And many Lucifans have pitched in to help.
@ChangingChanne1 is donating 50 percent of proceeds from Lucifer bangles to the effort.
I am donating $10 from each one of my #Lucifer bangles ($20) to @tomellis17’s GoFundMe, in support of @WIRES_NSW and the animals affected by the Australian bush fires. Bangles are stainless steel and come in multiple colours. https://t.co/PgDkeEfMCs pic.twitter.com/q6k4cptaN2
— Changing Channels #VanCon (@ChangingChanne1) January 6, 2020
Fires have hit every Australian state, but New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria — home to the cities of Sydney and Melbourne, respectively — are presently in the worse shape.
Victoria is currently under a state of disaster and NSW has declared a state of emergency — both granting extraordinary powers and additional government resources to battle the fires.