UPDATE: Aussie Instagrammer Celeste Barber made her name mocking the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but her fundraiser for bushfire relief is no fucking joke, and has now raised an incredible $50 million.
The Facebook donation page established by Barber last Friday has sailed past the $50 million mark, promising an astonishing wad of cash for volunteer firefighters, aid agencies, and wildlife rehabilitation initiatives amid an unprecedented bushfire season.
Taking to Instagram overnight, Barber said she was “very overwhelmed” by the support, and promised to divvy up the funds in a responsible manner.
“It seems with raising a fucktonne of money comes a fucktonne of people telling you what you should do with it,” Barber said.
“It’s going to the Rural Fire Service (RFS), and it will be distributed out.
“So I’m going to make sure Victoria gets some, that South Australia gets some, also families of people who have died in these fires, the wildlife – I get it.
“I get it all, I’m hearing you all. Holy crap, I’m hearing you all, and I get it.”
Earlier, Barber said she had been in communication with senior RFS officials, who expressed “positivity within the terror”.
That still-rising total comes amid temporarily easing conditions in New South Wales, after record-setting temperatures blighted the state on the weekend.
As of 6am this morning, the RFS stated 136 fires continued to burn in the state with 69 yet to be controlled. All fires are currently burning at ‘Advice’ level, with residents nearby urged to keep tabs on RFS updates.
At 6am, there are 136 fires which continue to burn across NSW, 69 uncontained. All fires remain at Advice. Today crews will focus on containment of these large fires, working with heavy plant and aviation assets. #nswrfs #nswfires pic.twitter.com/f2OWkze8nC
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 5, 2020
Over the border, Victoria’s Country Fire Authority states 31 blazes are currently being fought by 1000 volunteers. Two blazes in the state’s east, near Buldah and Warangabell, are burning at ‘Emergency’ levels.
23 people have died as a result of the fires afflicting the nation, while The Guardian yesterday reported that six people remain missing.
Millions of hectares have been razed by the blazes, with innumerable losses of livestock and native wildlife.
The fires are expected to continue across the country, which has not yet entered the traditional bushfire season.
But, as evidenced by Barber’s fundraiser, Australians and the international community are keen to help.Image: Gary Gershoff / Getty Images