The sails of the Sydney Opera House have lit up with touching images of volunteer firefighters in support of bushfire affected communities.
The projections, which began at 8.30pm tonight, are a tribute to the firefighters and communities who have suffered through months of searing temperatures and smoke.
One of the images is by Wolter Peeters in Yarravel on NSW’s far north coast of a simple handmade sign that says “thank you firies”.
Other images include those of volunteer firefighters embracing and wildlife escaping from the horrific blazes.
Tens of millions of dollars have been raised for affected communities, with the bushfire crisis reaching international attention.
Since July, 20 people including three firefighters, 6200 livestock and millions of wild animals have died in the NSW bushfires.
Australian Red Cross bosses say the response has been remarkable in terms of its speed and reach.
Its Disaster Relief and Recovery fund has topped $44m, with $5000 grants expected to start going out today to people, and more money reserved for the next few years as communities rebuild.
State Director Poppy Brown, said things started to snowball after the campaign was televised with the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney, and dramatic images of fires beamed around the globe are what she believes have inspired people to help.
“At the end of the New Year’s Eve appeal we got to just under a million and it just kept rolling on, and has snowballed ever since,” she said.
“The way it’s just accelerated globally has just been huge.”