Two previously separate bushfires have joined in Australia to make one giant blaze that is now threatening the lives of all those living close by. The bushfire is estimated to span half-a-million hectares and is around the same size as Australia's capital city of Canberra.
The two fires were called the East Ournie Creek and Dunns Road fires and were close to the Victoria border. Both the fires were upgraded to watch and act level prior to merging and by the afternoon the fires merged with temperatures reaching 37 degrees.
The Rural Fire Service warned that the merged fire was showing erratic behaviour which means that the fire could quickly and unexpectedly change directions. The blaze has already reached the towns of Kunama, Wondalga, Talbingo, and Batlow.
Warnings have been issued to the residents of Goobragandra Valley, Mannus, Mundaroo, Ournie, Brindabella, and Tooma. The residents of these regions have been asked to be ready to evacuate at a moments notice. RFS Commissioner Shayne Fitzsimmonshas stated that the high temperatures are making things more difficult and that incoming hot, dry winds are proving to be a challenge.
In Victoria, bushfires have begun to merge, becoming larger. At least 12 are still active.— Patrick Mills (@Patty_Mills) January 7, 2020
More than 6 million hectares have been burned in those two states alone.
In related news, Leonardo DiCaprio's foundation Earth Alliance environmental organisation will be donating $3 million for the relief efforts of Australia bushfire. Leonardo DiCaprio is the co-chairperson of Earth Alliance along with philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth. The organisation was formed with the aim to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. The organisation will be working with other Australian organisations like Aussie Ark, Bush Heritage and Wires Wildfire Rescue.
On the other hand, Leonardo is not the only celebrity to donate such a large sum. Musical icon Elton John had pledged $1 million recently while wrapping up his show in Sydney. Actor Christ Hemsworth had recently shared a video urging people to support the relief efforts with whatever they can, also sharing that he will be making a donation of $1 million as well. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have also pledged to donate for the Australia bushfires.
(With inputs from Agencies)