Down Under

7 Ways to Help

You’ve heard of the wildfires in Australia, they’re impossible to ignore. While recent rains have helped, by no means are the fires all out and the situation is far from over and firefighting and cleanup efforts continue. We quickly caught up with Australian native and photographer Jono Winnel on the wildfire crisis, as well as Josh Mills, organizer of multiple Instagram fundraising campaigns, most recently #dozenfordownunder. There are multiple ways to help below.

From Jono: “We need all the help we can get and would appreciate anything the fly fishing community can do to help us out. We have never experienced a fire season like this before. More than 46 million acres have burned, 26 people have died with more still missing, over 2000 homes destroyed, more than 1 billion animals have been killed and ecologists are estimating that hundreds of species may face extinction. Experts predict the fires will continue on all summer.

Fire is part of the Australian landscape, but fires like this are unprecedented and have become more frequent, more extensive and more intense as a result of human caused climate change. 2019 was the hottest and driest year on record in Australia. These massive fires occurred with only 1 degree of warming, under current polices we are set for over 3 degrees warming. Now is a pivotal time in Australia and the world to take meaningful action on climate change. Numbers can be hard to fathom, so a little comparison can help. The 2019 California wildfires totaled 259,823 acres whilst the current Australian fires have burnt 46 million acres and are still burning.

If you want to help out, please donate directly to help the people and animals impacted by the fires and the firefighting efforts. Any donation big or small will go a long way.”

Donate to Wires Wildlife Rescue to help with wildlife rescue:

To help affected families and communities donate to The Salvation Disaster Appeal:

Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery:

To donate to firefighting efforts please, send money to the Victorian Country Firefighters Association:

NSW Rural Fire Service:

Above: Just in case you forget you’re in Australia, kangaroos and wallabies really are everywhere. Some of them are not that shy. I was a fair way up the river, fishing for Murray Cod when I came upon this eastern gray kangaroo. After a curious glance, she wisely hopped away.” Location: New South Wales, Australia. Photo: Jono Winnel


From Josh Mills: “After the success of raising over $42,000 for Hurricane Dorian victims under the fundraising hashtag #dozenfordorian,  I felt it was time to rally fly tiers and the fly fishing community again this time to rally support and aid for the unprecedented fires in Australia. In turn, the fundraiser #dozenfordownunder was born.

The Instagram based fundraiser gives fly tiers, fishing guides and artists the opportunity to offer their wares with individual auctions on their Instagram pages. Post a dozen flies with the hashtag #dozenfordownunder in the Instagram post and for 7 days, people bid and then after 7 days, the winning bidder donates directly to the Yellow Dog Community and Conservation Foundation and their Double Haul for Down Under fund. After proving donation, the bugs are shipped to their new owner.

So far, we have over 130 posts to the fundraiser, all coalesced under the hashtag #dozenfordownunder. With today’s bids, we should break $22,000 raised in just two weeks.  The community has again rallied fast, and with big impact.

The fundraiser will continue to go as long as new flies and offerings are posted and as long as people bid.”

There’s a number of ways to help in the above links, please take a minute and lend a hand to help Australia’s wildlife, firefighters and residents whose lives are changed due to the fires. Search the hashtag #dozenfordownunder on Instagram, make a bid or donate directly via the links above.


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