Red Cross personnel supporting Australia bushfires response

Topics: Worldwide, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
January 07, 2020


Extreme temperatures, dry conditions and winds have combined to cause or escalate hundreds of bushfires across five Australian states, in an unprecedented fire season.

More than five million hectares of land have been burned so far. New South Wales and Victoria have each declared a state of emergency. As of January 5, the direct death toll stood at 23 and hundreds of properties have been destroyed.

The smoke, ash and dust from the fires is blanketing cities across the country and reaching as far as New Zealand, compromising air quality and causing respiratory and health issues. Entire communities have been evacuated and others are becoming isolated by issues with road access, communications and power, making it difficult to get up-to-date information on what’s needed.

Red Cross on the ground in communities across Australia

Specialist Red Cross personnel, largely volunteers, are on the ground, supporting impacted communities across Australia. In Victoria, Red Cross is delivering psychological first aid, registration services and other relief services.

In New South Wales, Red Cross personnel has supported more than 87 evacuation centres since the bushfire emergency began. In South Australia, Red Cross personnel have been supporting the response, providing psychological first aid, registration services and telephone welfare checks to the people affected.

Through their Register.Find.Reunite service, that Australian Red Cross is putting survivors in touch with their loved ones. To date, more than 30,000 people have registered with the service and 5,000 enquiries have been made.

You can support the response with a donation to the Australia Fires Appeal.

Your donation will be used to fund Canadian Red Cross support of the Australian Red Cross response to the devasting wildfires. In the unlikely event that the needs are met for the wildfire response, additional funds will be used for relief and recovery efforts in Australia and further afield to ensure preparedness for, response to and recovery from events like these wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross will remain in contact with the Australian Red Cross and is ready to provide additional support, if needed.

Photo: Australian Red Cross