Bushfires have devastated parts of Queensland and New South Wales, but many individuals and companies are pitching in to help. On Monday, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service said in a tweet that 48 bush or grass bushfires were burning, adding that "heatwave conditions are developing across large parts of the state, so fire dangers will increase".
All fires across NSW are now at Advice level. At 10am Monday there's 48 bush or grass fires with 25 uncontained. We're not out of the woods yet though - heatwave conditions are developing across large parts of the state, so fire dangers will increase. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/tyJkO4o0bv
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) November 17, 2019
In Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology highlighted that while fire dangers "have eased" since Sunday, there are many ongoing fires, with smoke even reaching out to New Zealand.
Smoke haze in #SEQ from ongoing #QLDFires. Smoke has also made it all the way to NZ! @MetService
Fire dangers have eased since yesterday, but many ongoing fires + warm temps continue to make firefighting challenging this week. Keep up to date with @QldFES #bushfire advice. pic.twitter.com/2nigyhESHC
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) November 17, 2019
We took a look at what some Australian businesses are doing to help:
The Coffee Club
The Coffee Club will donate 50 cents from every hot coffee purchased on Wednesday November 20 to fundraise for BlazeAid, a non-profit organisation that supports local communities affected by natural disasters. The organisation helps rebuild fences and other structures that get damaged during events like bushfires.
BlazeAid’s Debbie Buttler said the impact of fence destruction is often underestimated by those who aren't familiar with the rural lifestyle. “Damaged or destroyed fences are devastating for farmers," she said in a statement. "It’s a problem that causes many more problems, especially surrounding the management and containment of livestock. Often the costs to rebuild fencing is not covered by insurance."
Bunnings is holding sausage sizzles around the country on Friday November 22 to help those affected by the bushfires. The home and hardware store is partnering with GIVIT, an organisation that works with charities to ensure that support reaches where it's needed most. All the funds raised from the sausage sizzles will go into buying essential items people need.
Last week, Woolworths announced it is donating $500,000 to the Support Through Australian Natural Disasters (STAND) program which will go to the Salvation Army's disaster appeal. The Salvation Army aims to raise $3 million to aid bushfire evacuees and the ongoing recovery efforts needed after the fires.
Australia Post stores are accepting donations for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Recovery Fund to help those affected by bushfires. All the donations will be used for first aid, work at evacuation centres and for helping people get in touch with their loved ones.
The big banks
NAB, the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac are offering disaster relief packages to those impacted by bushfires in Queensland and New South Wales. The packages include the suspension of certain fees or loan repayments. Westpac is also donating $200,000 to the Salvation Army's Emergency and Disaster Appeal.