Bushfires began in Australia in August 2019 and in early November they spread throughout New South Wales (NSW) due to high temperatures and prolonged drought. In early December 2019, the fires spread to Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and, in early January 2020, to the Australian Capital Territory. The fires burned over 27 million acres across Australia, with approximately 3,102 homes destroyed, including over 2,300 homes in New South Wales (ECHO Jan 31).
Our Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART) completed in-depth, ground assessments of two areas of South Australia (Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills). Simultaneously, we performed remote outreach and assessments of affected areas in Victoria and New South Wales; based on our findings, we decided to focus our efforts on Kangaroo Island. In November 2020, we re-established contact with local partners, and now that COVID-19-related restrictions have been lifted, we are re-assessing the needs on both Kangaroo Island and in southern NSW, the worst affected region, with the goal of engaging in environmental protection and livelihood support as originally planned.
A special thank you to our generous partner, Jefferies, for providing an initial 500,000 AUD grant to support the launch of our Australia Bushfire Program.
To learn more about the bushfires in Australia, watch the video below.