In the midst of the horror of the devastating forest fires in Australia that killed 23 people and destroyed thousands of homes, there are glimpses of hope.
They include heart-warming moments of humanity between the ashes, selfless acts of courage, extraordinary leadership, and everyday Australians helping each other.
More than 100,000 volunteer firefighters have fought fires in every state, saving countless homes from destruction.
Next to them are people who donate their money, time and guest rooms to help victims recover, or rush to save their neighbor’s house.
The devastating forest fires in Australia have killed 23 people and destroyed thousands of houses
A kookaburra perches on a burnt tree in front of a trail of bushland destruction at Wallabi Point on the mid-north coast of New South Wales on November 12
Tens of millions of dollars, which rise every minute, are collected for fire efforts, reconstruction and the 500 million animals affected by bushfire.
These are some of Australia’s bushfire heroes and the stories that inspired the nation during such dark times.
NSW National fire brigade commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons
While his state was flooded by dozens of fires that burned a larger area than Belgium, the volunteer firefighter never hesitated.
His leadership acted as a beacon of inspiration for his 70,000 volunteers and the State of NSW in general through his approach to the crisis.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons, 50, praised universal praise for his calm and composite delivery of information as a reassuring presence at numerous press conferences.
NSW RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has become Australia’s hero for his leadership during the bushfire crisis
He gave no warning to residents in the path of the fires and gave clear advice, unhindered by political spider or police jargon.
Balanced with this was his ability to empathize, as he barely restrained his tears when he announced the death of volunteer firefighters.
Emotional photos of him who placed a medal on the chest of the 19-month-old son of fallen firefighter Geoffrey Keaton last week are already iconic.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons filled a leadership vacuum left by state and federal politicians and won the admiration of the public.
“This man is an incredible leader. As far as I can tell, the man hasn’t slept in two months, “said Sydney councilor Darcy Byrne on Sunday.
“He manages calm and compassionate means morning and night, provides information and keeps us safe.”
Emotional photos of him pricking a medal on the chest of the 19-month-old son of the fallen firefighter Geoffrey Keaton are already iconic
A long-exposure photo shows a car commuting on a road as the sky turns red from the smoke of the forest fire in the Snowy Valley on the outskirts of Cooma (photo)
Allison Marion’s photo of her son Finn escaping from the emerging fires in the seaside resort of Mallacoota in the far east of Victoria has become a symbol of this year’s bushfire crisis
Firefighting is also personal for the 30-year-old veteran, because his father George was killed by a controlled burn that went wrong in 2000.
“It reinforced my decision to be part of this organization,” he said in 2009.
“And to ensure that the strategies, equipment and operations that we deploy are in a way that maximizes firefighter safety. Every family has the right to expect their loved ones to come home after a service. “
The comedian who is known for poking fun on Instagram models and celebrities had no idea what impact she would have with one Facebook post.
Barber set up a Facebook fundraising for the NSW RFS on the afternoon of January 3, which has since raised more than $ 30 million.
She just said ‘please help as you can. This is frightening. We need your help ”and the Australian and international public did the rest.
More than 800,000 people have so far each put an average of $ 40 in the pot and have inspired countless other donations.
Comedian Celeste Barber on the afternoon of January 3 has set up a Facebook fundraising for the NSW RFS which has since raised more than $ 30 million
Barber was amazed by the enormous response to her fundraising and refused to take the credit for herself
Celebrities such as Pink, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Ash Barty were encouraged to promise huge donations and put their fans together to give generously.
Other fundraisers have raised millions more for the fires of Victoria, burned koalas and other animals, and victims who died or lost their homes.
Barber was amazed by the enormous response to her fundraising and refused to take the credit for herself.
“People are wonderful. The power to the people. Someone had to do something and people did something, “she said.
Toni Doherty and Adam Mudge
Ms. Doherty was declared a hero by thousands after encountering the burning forest to save a struggling koala from a certain death.
She saw Lewis fire the koala around Long Flat, near Port Macquarie, NSW, and scooped it up in her own clothing.
Viral images showed Lewis, with missing pieces of fur, running close to the fire before Mrs. Doherty poured bottles of water on him and wrapped him in a blanket.
Toni Doherty was shot while he encountered an out of control bushfire in Long Flat in New South Wales to rescue the wounded marsupial
“We just jumped out and I knew I had to put something around him while I ran to the tree, so I just took off my shirt and covered it with it and tried to get it out of the fire,” she told the show of Today.
“He was burned. He burned under it, on his small hind legs when he approached the tree, I have never heard a koala, I did not know they could scream. “
Mrs. Doherty said she wanted to get Lewis out of the fire as quickly as possible and was glad she was wearing a good bra so she could take off her shirt.
Unfortunately, Lewis died of his wounds days later, so weak that he could only eat one gum tray per hour, but his story raised more than $ 1 million for other koalas.
Eight marsupials were rescued by volunteer firefighter Adam Mudge from a fire near Cudlee Creek in South Australia.
Unfortunately, Lewis died of his wounds days later, so weak that he could only eat one gum tray per hour, but his story raised more than $ 1 million for other koalas
Adam Mudge, a member of the South Australian Country Fire Service, was praised online after six koalas huddled together in a laundry in Cudlee Creek, near Adelaide
His fire brigade team left them with a nearby elderly couple who housed them in their, of which a photo went viral online.
Mr. Mudge said it was the couple who cared for them, who really deserved the praises that were deposited on him.
“We were just there. We had a job, we saved that house, “he told Daily Mail Australia.
“At the end of the day, they were the ones who took the koalas to save them to the wild.”
Andrew O’Dwyer, Geoffrey Keaton, Samuel McPaul
These three RFS volunteers were killed in two tragic truck accidents while fighting furious forest fires in NSW.
Young dads Mr. O’Dwyer, 36, and Mr. Keaton, 32, died on December 19 when their truck rolled off the road after they hit a fallen tree in Buxton, south of Sydney.
Their death caused outbursts of grief and became symbolic of the thousands of firefighters who risked their lives without getting a cent.
It also started the kickback against Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was soon forced to return from a vacation in Hawaii.
Andrew O’Dwyer (left) and Geoffrey Keaton (right) were killed when their truck rolled off the road after they hit a fallen tree in Buxton, south of Sydney, last night.
Volunteer fire fighter Samuel McPaul (pictured with his wife Megan) was tragically murdered when a 10-ton truck rolled
Mr. McPaul, 28, died on December 30 when his truck rolled after being hit by a huge gust of wind that was fired by a “fire tornado” near Albury.
Two of his colleagues suffered severe burns before they were rescued and rushed to the hospital.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons, visibly visibly shaken by the death of Mr. McPaul, declared the “firenado” formed “cyclone-like winds.”
“That went over the fire site and literally lifted a 10 or 12-ton fire truck and lifted the roof, tragically killing Sam during the trial,” he said.
Tens of thousands of dollars were donated to the three male families through various online fundraisers.
Jawad Nabouche, Talal Kanj, Belal Shmait, Huseyin Jasli
Four friends went out of their way to help exhausted and hungry bushfire victims and firefighters.
After seeing the devastation on the NSW Mid North Coast, they drove 450 km from Auburn in Sydney to the city of Willawarrin, west of Port Macquarie.
After the journey of more than five hours, the Muslim men set up a free barbecue to lift the spirits of the locals and feed those who have lost everything.
Days later they came back for a second cook, armed with 30 kg of sausage and meat, sandwiches and 30 boxes of water.
Belal Shmait, Talal Kanj, Jawad Nabouche and Malek Eid traveled five hours from Sydney to the small town of Willawarrin to throw a free barbecue for bushfire help
The men became night heroes when they threw a free barbecue in Willawarrin
“It’s the least we can do, try to help the community and help everyone here and put a smile on everyone’s face,” Mr. Nabouche told the ABC.
“We can’t fight a fire, but we can set up a barbecue.”
Local residents ‘adopted’ the quartet and expressed their gratitude for the incredible efforts they made to help complete strangers.
Others in Australia’s Muslim community have also been intensified by organizing massive donation efforts and bringing much needed supplies to hard-hit areas.
Mr. Hardie-Porter’s RFS crew was just one of thousands of people who saved countless homes during the fires, but the note they left behind warmed hearts around the world.
Paul Sekfy returned to his rural estate in Yarranbella on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales in November to discover that his house was still standing.
There was a handwritten letter from Mr. Hardie-Porter on his kitchen bench saying: “It was a pleasure to save your house. Sorry we couldn’t save your barns. PS, we owe you some milk. “
After Mr Sekfy had shared the message on social media, he explained how his crew successfully fought the fire.
Paul Sekfy found this note on his kitchen bench when he returned to check on his house after a forest fire was swept through the Nambucca Valley on the NSW Mid-North Coast
The fireman who wrote the note, Kale Hardie-Porter (pictured on the job this weekend), explained how he and three colleagues struck back the fire but could not save Mr. Sekfy’s sheds
Residents with wide-brimmed hats defend a home against a forest fire in Hillsville near Taree, 350 km north of Sydney, on November 12
“I’m happy to know that my note came to you in one piece, knowing that the house survived when we had to leave,” he said.
“We just went to your house and then we discovered the fridge.”
Hardie-Porter was quickly approached by media and appreciative people around the world when his note became a symbol of the selfless work ethic of firefighters.
“I am really humble because of the overwhelming support we have received. It is amazing to see how this little letter touched so many people around the world, “he said.
Australians who gathered to help their neighbors
Many more maintained the great Australian value of helping their friends, neighbors and everyone in need, no matter how they could.
Peter McMahon and a hundred other Irish traditions came together in November to deliver vital goods to cities destroyed by fire.
The convoy of nearly 100 trucks transported $ 100,000 of water in tears to families in Armidale, northern NSW, whose lives were destroyed by the forest fires.
Nearly 100 trucks transported $ 100,000 of water in tears to families in Armidale, northern NSW, whose lives have been destroyed by forest fires
Crane operator Declan McDonald, 25, was seen delivering the Emu Export beers during an appeal to the Salvation Army in Yanchep, north of Perth
McMahon said he was inspired to help after he saw a crying farmer on television to kill his cattle.
“People were crying by the side of the road and it gave me shivers … our whole crew tore apart, this is life-changing for many people,” he said.
Water was not the only thing that firefighters got to drink after heavy days against coast-to-coast fire.
Crane operator Declan McDonald, 25, was seen during an appeal to the Salvation Army in Yanchep, north of Perth.
“I felled trees with my parents and knocked back a few myself and thought the crew there would enjoy some cold,” he said.
When the fire came to South Turramurra on the upper north coast of Sydney, the Sikh community brought bags filled with home-made food and hundreds of bottles of water for firefighters and local residents
Dozens of local Sikhs brought food and water to residents and firefighters before worshiping in a nearby temple
Back in Sydney, when the fire came to the suburb on the north coast of South Turramurra, worshipers from the local Sikh temple showed up to help.
They brought bags of home-made food and hundreds of bottles of water for firefighters and local residents.
And in Melbourne, an Indian restaurant cooked hundreds of curries and sent them to Gippsland, Victoria, where a huge fire destroyed dozens of houses.
Elsewhere, thousands of ordinary Australians donate food, water, and fire-fighting equipment, sew baby animal bags and turn their guest rooms into accommodation for evacuated families.
THE BUSHFIRE CRISIS OF AUSTRALIA – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The evacuations are on their way and there are emergency warnings in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, as the authorities predict that the devastating forest fires will continue to burn until at least March.
At least 25 people have been killed on fire throughout the country since the bushfire season began in October
NEW SOUTH WALES / ACT
- At least 150 forest fires burned in NSW on Sunday
- 20 people dead
- 3.6 million hectares burned, larger than the size of Belgium
- At least 1,365 houses confirmed destroyed
- Two people dead
- About 50 forest fires burn
- More than 784,000 hectares burned
- 330 structures confirmed destroyed but expected considerably more
- Three people, including two from Kangaroo Island, are dead
- 17 forest fires burn, four of significance
- More than 100,000 hectares burned
- 88 houses confirmed destroyed
- Approximately 600 properties on Kangaroo Island remain without power with SA Power Networks that warn that it may take some time for crews to access the fire department to assess damage
- 33 forest fires burn
- 250,000 hectares burned
- 45 houses confirmed destroyed
- More than 35 forest fires burn, two of significance
- 1.5 million hectares burned
- A house confirmed destroyed
- 23 forest fires burn, two of significance
- 30,000 hectares burned
- Destroyed two houses confirmed
- Five fires burn
- Destroyed five houses confirmed