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A koala on a burnt tree, Kangaroo Island © Julie Fletcher / WWF-Australia

Bushfire emergency

Australia is in the grips of a nationwide bushfire emergency. Help us save wildlife, and when the fires have cleared, restore our lost forests.

A koala on a burnt tree, Kangaroo Island © Julie Fletcher / WWF-Australia


Donate to WWF's Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund

Right now, Australia is burning. The nation is being ravaged by the most devastating bushfire season the country has ever seen.

So far, it is estimated that about 12 million hectares of Australian land have been burned.  At least 32 lives have been lost and over 2,700 homes lost. WWF is greatly saddened by the loss of life and homes, as well as all the injuries, pain and suffering caused by the bushfires.

NSW has declared a state of emergency and Victoria a state of disaster, and major fires are raging in South Australia and Western Australia.

And while trees burn, our wildlife also suffers.

It’s been estimated that around 1.25 billion animals have been killed across Australia to date. This includes thousands of koalas and other iconic species such as kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras, cockatoos and honeyeaters burnt alive, and many thousands more injured and homeless.

The catastrophic megafires sweeping our country are greatly exacerbating the species extinction crisis we’re already facing. Yet this is just the beginning. That's why WWF-Australia has called for immediate global support to establish a AUD$30 million Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund.

Only when the fires clear will we see the full extent of the damage. Whilst we may not have the full picture yet, we already know the WWF Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund will deliver:

Wildlife response - including partnering with wildlife response organisations, communities and scientists nationally for a swift and effective response and recovery at scale.
Habitat restoration for people and nature - including restoring forests and damaged wildlife habitat, stopping deforestation, including cultivating habitat connectivity, core habitat and Indigenous and rural fire management.
Future-proofing Australia - including driving innovative solutions to help mitigate climate change, driving climate preparedness, species adaptation and long-term wildlife and nature conservation efforts towards securing Australia’s natural resources for people and nature.

You can help WWF-Australia deploy emergency funds to care for our injured wildlife and when the fires clear, help restore the forest homes our koalas, kangaroos and other animals have lost.  See how your donation will make a difference. 


Sleeping koala in tree © Jordan Whitt

Help Save Wildlife

When the fires clear, help us restore homes for koalas and other animals.

Help Wildlife

It’s been estimated that 1.25 billion native animals have perished in the Australian bushfires, including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, echidnas and more. As many as 8,400 koalas may have already perished in the fires in NSW alone, and these numbers continue to rise. These fires are a threat to people, as well as our wildlife. 

Please check NSW Rural Fire Service, Emergency Western AustraliaSouth Australia Country Fire Service, or Victoria's Country Fire Authority for emergency updates. We hope that everyone stays safe.

If you find injured wildlife in need of help, please contact your local wildlife rescue service. If in NSW call WIRES: 1300 094 737 and in Vic call WILDLIFE VICTORIA: 03 8400 7300.


NSW state of emergency WIRES

Impact of climate change on bushfires

Climate change does not cause bushfires, but it does make them worse.

Australia is a land of bushfires but this season’s bushfire catastrophe is not normal.

Australia has been experiencing more frequent intense heatwaves and prolonged dry periods that have created tinderbox conditions. Global heating is making droughts more severe and fires hotter and more frequent, as we have seen this season.

We must all do our bit to protect our world from climate disaster - failure to act will make extreme weather standard, with deadly consequences for people and nature.

NSW Rural Fire Service fighting Red October 2013 fires © James Manning / WWF-Aus