A heartbreaking image shared on Facebook over the weekend sends a strong message about the gut-wrenching reality Australians have been—and still are—facing.
A number of celebrities addressed the devastating Australian bushfires on Sunday during the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, urging their peers and fans to take action as soon as possible. While their speeches made headlines across publications and have undoubtedly reached thousands across the world, a heartbreaking image shared on Facebook over the weekend sends a stronger message about the gut-wrenching reality Australians have been—and still are—facing. On Saturday, Jenna O'Keeffe posted a moving photograph of her tired father grabbing 5 minutes of sleep on their front lawn after his 10th consecutive 12+ hour day fighting the fires raging near their home.
This Australian fire season has already left at least 20 people dead, thousands of homes destroyed and millions of animals killed—and the blazes could continue for months https://t.co/8P3fLCe9pq— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 6, 2020
"This is a picture of my Dad getting 5 mins sleep on our front lawn, while my brother keeps watch over the fire burning at the top of our farm after he finished his 10th 12 hr+ day in a row fighting voluntarily in the community with the RFS NSW. My family has been fighting these fires on our farm and our community nonstop for over a month. They are tired, they are sore, and they are running out of resources," she captioned the image.
O'Keefe went on to reveal that her father finally broke down on Sunday in the face of the unrelenting flames. "Today I heard my Dad cry, he said 'Jen I have never seen anything like this, it’s never-ending.' We still have over 50 days of summer left we aren’t even halfway and there is currently no end in sight," she wrote. The devastated Australian woman also urged netizens not to become desensitized to the nation's plight, writing, "Please don’t become numb to what’s happening. Don’t get caught up in the negativity, the politics, the facebook news, the drama! Australia is on fire and there are brave people all over the country VOLUNTARILY fighting day in, day out to keep our lives and homes safe."
"These firefighters need our support more than ever! This should be our one and only focus. To all of the people helping directly and indirectly around the country Thank you! To everyone else don’t forget to donate what you can to your charity of choice, every little bit will help! This is far from over! To my family, I can not express how proud I am of you all! I love you and am forever thankful," O'Keefe concluded.
PARCHED POSSUM: After spotting this little marsupial scurrying out of smoky bushland in Australia as an out-of-control fire raged nearby, firefighters offered it water which it guzzled down gratefully. https://t.co/TWJ18wJXdY pic.twitter.com/o2jWkgAPuB— ABC News (@ABC) January 6, 2020
According to BBC, fire-ravaged parts of Australia experienced some relief over the weekend as sooty rain fell down the east coast, from Sydney to Melbourne. While some parts of New South Wales (NSW) also reported "torrential" rain, officials urged people to remain vigilant as temperatures are expected to rise by Thursday. They also revealed that huge fires in Victoria and New South Wales could potentially meet and create a larger "mega blaze." On Monday, NSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned, "There is no room for complacency. This morning it is all about recovery, making sure people who have been displaced have somewhere safe."
As per a 7news.com.au report, Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said, "This will be a changing, dynamic situation. We know that the weather will start to warm up and that when we get into Thursday and Friday, potential spike days again."