LOS ANGELES (AP) – Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental organization is donating $3 million to help wildfire relief efforts in Australia.
DiCaprio’s Earth Alliance said in a statement Thursday that the organization has created the Australia Wildfire Fund to help with an â€œinternational response to the catastrophic bushfiresâ€ currently raging in the country. The Academy Award-winning actor co-chairs the organization was launched last year to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.
The wildfires have scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland. The blazes have killed 25 people and destroyed 2,000 homes. The fires, fueled by drought and the countryâ€™s hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australiaâ€™s annual wildfire season.
The fund will work with local Australian partner organizations including Aussie Ark, Bush Heritage, and Wires Wildlife Rescue.
All funds will go to assist firefighting efforts in New South Wales and aid other communities affected by the wildfires.
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 she would auction off her Globe outfit and have the proceeds go to firefighter relief at the Golden Globes on Sunday.