FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2019 file photo a firefighter controls a backburn near Mangrove Mountain, north of Sydney, Australia. U.S. officials said Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 they are planning to send at least 100 more firefighters to Australia to join 159 already there battling blazes that have killed multiple people and destroyed thousands of homes. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft,File)

DiCaprio’s Earth Alliance gives $3M to Australia fire relief

Foundation announces Australia Wildfire Fund

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Earth Alliance environmental organization will donate $3 million to help wildfire relief efforts in Australia.

The foundation said Thursday that it has started the Australia Wildfire Fund to help with an “international response to the catastrophic bushfires” currently raging in the country.

The wildfires have scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland, killed at least 25 people and destroyed 2,000 homes. The fires, fueled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australia’s annual wildfire season.

The Academy Award-winning actor serves as Earth Alliance’s co-chair along with philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth. The organization was launched last year to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

ALSO READ: 2 Aussie wildfires merge into inferno; man seriously burned

The fund will work with local Australian partner organizations including Aussie Ark, Bush Heritage, and Wires Wildlife Rescue.

DiCaprio joins a growing list of other celebrities that have rallied to donate big bucks. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and Elton John who each offered $1 million through social media earlier this week.

Nicole Kidman, Pink and Keith Urban have donated as well.

Metallica said they will donation $750,000 to a firefighting agency and emergency services agency in Victoria. Phoebe Waller-Bridge said at the Golden Globes on Sunday that she would auction off her Globe outfit and have the proceeds go to firefighter relief.

Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

Tech consortium invests $25 million into four University of Victoria research projects

Investments come with goal of developing, implement technologies created by Canadians

Organizers seek input for long-awaited Oaklands community garden

Oswald Park Community Garden Design Workshop coming up on Jan. 19

Improperly transporting a pet in the back of the truck can cost up to $368

Police recommend keeping all animals inside the passenger portion of the vehicle

Mass-timber project in Esquimalt switches from condos to rentals

Corvette Landing will now offer rental units in the area

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Most Read