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Fire Update

At the time this article is being written there are still many ongoing bushfires across Australia.

Here on Bribie Island we are lucky to not currently be under threat of encroaching bushfires, but as many in our community have family and friends in other states and territories The Local Island and Surrounds News believes it is important to provide what information we can.

Statistics from early January show that over 12 million acres have been burned across Australia, millions of animals have died and at least 24 people have lost their lives.

But the country is not without hope, firefighters from every state and territory have been doing their very best to battle this crisis.

First Officer for Rocksberg Moorina Brigade Rural Fire Services, Mathew Poor and his brigade have been to New South Wales and Victoria to help.

Having 20 years of fire fighting under his belt Mr Poor noted that every bushfire is unique in its own way.

“In Queensland it’s all calmed down, like we’ve had a fair bit of rain but in New South Wales and Victoria it’s still quite…it’s devastating.”

“The [fires] that we’re assisting with in New South Wales and Victoria are very large, dynamic, intense fires which is something that us in Queensland haven’t really experienced much in the last decade.” He said.

At times like this when the country is being ravaged by natural disaster it is important for communities to band together. Across our beautiful country people, and organisations have been fundraising and volunteering where they can to provide aid.

Celebrities including Celeste Barber, Chris Hemsworth, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have made large donations for bushfire relief. ANZ, Macquarie, NAB, Westpac, Commonwealth and other banks have also chipped in. And large businesses like Qantas and Woolworths are also giving what they can. Even international organisations and celebrities are pitching in; Elton John made a $1m donation.

Local businesses here in the Bribie Island and surrounding regions are doing their bit too. The Bribie Island Cinema donated $2 from every ticket sold on Sunday January 19th to support bushfire relief efforts, this was done in conjunction with other cinemas across Australia.

By the time this article is printed the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology will have hosted their fundraising banquet ‘A Crusader’s Journey’ on Saturday February 8th. All the profits from the dinner were donated to the small town of Genoa that had lost nearly everything to the bushfires.

Many local businesses and politicians have contributed to help with fundraising efforts, chipping in to assist with the ‘A Crusader’s Journey’ bushfire relief fundraising dinner.

In January the hashtag Authors For Fireys (or Authors For Firies) was used as an online auction to raise funds for Australian firefighters.

Running between January 6th and January 11th the auction was setup with winning bidders having to donate the amount they bid to a specified charity (nominated by the author) and then send through a copy of their receipt to receive their reward.

The auction saw big name Aussie authors as well as a number of indie authors offering books, in person meetups, editing, inclusion of bidders as characters in their work in progress manuscripts, and a whole range of other services to raise funds.

A webpage was set-up to work in conjunction with the auction and explain details for those involved. To date the total confirmed donations raised by Authors For Fireys is $511,274.

Australian authors are working on even more fundraising efforts with a number of different groups bringing out charity anthologies.

Australian Charity Anthologies:

  • Burning Love and Bleeding Hearts edited by Louise Zedda Sampson and Chris Mason – A charity magazine-sized flash fiction anthology releasing on February 14th. For this anthology all proceeds will be donated to Red Cross Australia and fund matched by Microsoft.

  • Stories of Hope by Aussie Speculative Fiction – This anthology does not have a set release date at the time of writing this article but is set for release in February. All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to the Australian Red Cross and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Bushfire Emergency Fund.

  • Australia Burns from Impact Comics – A bushfire benefit comics anthology featuring work from over 24 comics creators around the world. All profits will be going to bushfire recovery related charities.

  • Burning Dreams: An Australian Bushfire Charity Effort compiled by Madeline L. Stout – A multi-genre short story anthology to help benefit those plagued by the bushfires, no release date has been specified yet.

  • The Fires That Bind Us Anthology by Little Quail Press – A romance anthology to help with bushfire relief, no release date has been specified yet.

Whilst the fires continue to burn across our country it is important to remember every little bit helps, the clean up and recovery effort will be ongoing long after the last embers have died.

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