A mark of solidarity and respect lit the entire façade of Sydney Opera House, acknowledging the bravery of Australian firefighters battling the heart-breaking bush fires. By Bayar Jain

Earlier this week, Sydney Opera House donned colourful light projections to pay tribute to the innumerable volunteers who have been helping in extinguish the country’s devastating bush fires. The projections, which lasted for a few hours, depicted heart-warming visuals of the heroes, along with hand-painted heart signs which read ‘Thank you, firies’.

As per the iconic building’s Instagram account, the illumination hopes to “send a message of hope and strength”, and “thank the emergency services and volunteers for their incredible efforts and courage.”

Since the crises began in October last year, the blazing wildfires have been rampant despite emergency crews and communities working tirelessly to put a stop to it. It is estimated that over seven million hectares of land has burned so far, thousands of houses have been destroyed, and over twenty people have lost their lives. However, human loss aside, a larger chunk of flora and fauna has also ceased to exist, many of which are now on the verge of extinction. The impact of the fires is so widespread that the resultant smoke can be seen looming over neighbouring country New Zealand – which is over 4,000 kms away – as well.

So far, millions of dollars have been raised to facilitate the rehabilitation process, and for providing aid in terms of food and clothes to those affected. Moreover, to raise money and to commemorate the loss of all that has been lost, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will also be organising a free event on February 5, 2020. Any proceeds collected – all of which will be donation based – will be sent to the Australian Red Cross to assist in the emergency teams’ efforts of supporting people in evacuation and recovery centres. A similar event will also be taking place at the City Recital Hall on January 30, 2020, wherein all the proceeds from the tickets and bar sales will be donated to Australian Red Cross (40%) and WIRES Wildlife Rescue (40%), and a number of other charities (20%).

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