HILLVILLE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 13: RFS Firefighters battle a spot fire on November 13, 2019 in Hillville, Australia. Catastrophic fire conditions – the highest possible level of bushfire danger – have eased across greater Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter areas thanks to a slight cool change, however dozens of bushfires are still burning. A state of emergency, as declared by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday, is still in effect, giving emergency powers to Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and prohibiting fires across the state. (Photo by Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

As Victoria joins NSW to delcare a state of disaster with the loss of half a billion animals and the total death toll rising to 18, after a further eight deaths since Monday, bushfires continue to wreak havoc.

More than 1,200 homes have been already been destroyed and 13.5 million acres of land with residents fleeing their properties along the central coast to avoid the blaze, which is estimated to continue for months.

To help give displaced people some refuge, Airbnb has activated its Open Homes program in New South Wales and Victoria, which means those who have lost or had to evacuate their properties due to the fires can claim free accommodation on eligible listings throughout the two states.

The program, which has been utilised all over the world during different natural disasters, is currently running until January 17 and is relying on residents in the two states to open up their homes to those impacted – anyone residing in the area can list their spare rooms via the Airbnb website.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 21: Two bushfires approach a home located on the outskirts of the town of Bargo on December 21, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. A catastrophic fire danger warning has been issued for the greater Sydney region, the Illawarra and southern ranges as hot, windy conditions continue to hamper firefighting efforts across NSW. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian declared a state of emergency on Thursday, the second state of emergency declared in NSW since the start of the bushfire season. (Photo by David Gray/Getty Images)

On Friday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of disaster for the first time ever, responding to an “unprecedented risk” from bushfire.

The declaration applies to much of the eastern part of the state, including the East Gippsland shire, Mansfield shire, Wellington shire, Wangaratta rural shire, Towong shire, Alpine shire, Mount Butler, Mount Hotham, and Mount Stirling Alpine Resorts.

“We face unprecedented risk to life and property in coming days,” Andrews said upon announcing the news. “The fires are unprecedented in their size, their scale and the risk they pose to so many people right across affected communities.”

“If you can leave, you must leave — if you don’t we simply cannot guarantee your safety.”

The best way to help, is to donate to one of the causes associated with the bushfires, which we’ve listed below.

Donate to The Australian Red Cross, which has volunteers at evacuation and recovery centres.

Donate to the Salvation Army Australia, which launched a disaster appeal, providing shelter and meals to evacuees and front-line responders.

Donate to St. Vincent de Paul Society Australia, which requesting money to help evacuated families cover bills and rebuild.

To help the hurt and displaced animals, donate to WIRES.

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