Given the unthinkable scale of the bushfires ravaging Australia, it’s no surprise that the internet has been flooded with heartbreaking stories and images.
It’s estimated more than half a billion animals may have lost their lives in the blazes, while countless homes and livelihoods have been destroyed.
One particularly heartbreaking image has surfaced this week, after a woman shared a powerful picture of her firefighter dad trying to catch some sleep after battling fires for 10 days in shifts or 12 hours at a time.
The picture was posted by Jenna O’Keeffe, of New South Wales, and depicts her father as he naps on the lawn during a rare break from duty.
She wrote: “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.”
O’Keeffe added: “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.”
Indeed, fears remain that the fires are far from coming to an end. Though firefighters and rescue teams continue to do what they can, the situation may get worse before it gets better.
“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.”
Unsurprisingly, O’Keeffe’s post has received viral attention, garnering 75,000 reactions and almost 9,000 comments.
God bless you and your father, Jenna. We’re sending all our prayers!
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