Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance gives $4 million to Australia fire relief

Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance gives $4 million to Australia fire relief

LOS ANGELES - Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance environmental organisation will donate US$3 million (S$4 million) to help wildfire relief efforts in Australia.

The foundation said Thursday (Jan 9) 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 US 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 organisation was launched last year to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

The fund will work with local Australian partner organisations 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 US$1 million through social media earlier this week.

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

Metallica said they will donation US$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.

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