Metallica Pledges Over $500,000 to Aid Firefighters in Australia Amid Devastating Wildfires
"We are totally overwhelmed by the news of the wildfires sweeping through millions of acres across Australia," the band said in a statement
The band — along with their foundation All Within My Hands — is pledging 750,000 Australian dollars, equal to almost 515,000 U.S. dollars, to the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Country Fire Authority in Victoria to aid relief efforts.
“We are totally overwhelmed by the news of the wildfires sweeping through millions of acres across Australia, with major impact in New South Wales and Victoria,” the heavy metal band said in a statement. “The resulting destruction and devastating effects on all residents, animals, the environment and the incredible land in Australia is truly heartbreaking.”
The two firefighting organizations are based in New South Wales and Victoria, the two areas of the continent most affected by the fires.
Metallica also urged their followers to “join us and do whatever you can to assist” those in Australia.
The band’s donation comes months after they postponed their tour of Australia and New Zealand while frontman James Hetfield sought treatment following his relapse, and amid a slew of celebrities and musicians donating to wildfire relief efforts in the country.
The fires burning across New South Wales and Victoria as well as other parts of the nation have wiped out millions of acres and destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings, displacing thousands of people — and animals — in the process.
Tragically, as of Monday, at least 25 people had died as a result of the ongoing crisis, and experts say that the fires will go on for months, NPR reported.
Ecologists from the University of Sydney also believe almost half a billion total mammals, birds and reptiles have died since September as the more than 130 fires continue to burn.
The list of celebrities who have donated to relief efforts in the country includes Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Elton John, basketball player LaMelo Ball and musician Pink.
“I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires,” Pink tweeted on Jan. 4. “I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz.”