I would like to acknowledge everyone who thanked me for last week’s links to reputable Australian charities. And for those of you who were able to send a donation, thank you twice over. They are all in dire need of the help, now and in the future. Recovery will be arduous and long, and only partially successful, I’m sure. Some animals may even go extinct. There are already a few signs of new life in areas burned a month ago from particular species of trees and grass, but the fires continue to burn.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms are now helping to quench fires but our U.S. firefighters who have volunteered to fight the fires alongside the Australians and others, are saying the damage is apocalyptic. The loss of wildlife has been revised several times with the latest figures indicating a billion lives lost. This may not include invertebrates and frogs, along with furred and feathered creatures. If not, losses could be in the trillions. Government officials are also culling the thousands of feral camels in remote areas of South Australia that are dying of thirst and invading homes due to the severe drought. Yet as many as 1 million or more wild camels exist in the Outback, descendants of those brought over in the early 19th century.
If you are worried whether family, friends or colleagues are safe, the Australian Red Cross has a registry on its Emergency Information page. Let’s continue to help where we can and keep Australia in our prayers.