Leonardo DiCaprio latest star to donate to Australia wildfire relief effort

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental group has donated 3 million US dollars (£2.3 million) towards the relief effort in Australia as the country continues to be ravaged by wildfires.

The Hollywood star’s Earth Alliance said it had pledged the cash to help support residents affected by the fires, enable wildlife rescue and support the long-term restoration of the environment.

Earth Alliance has launched the Australia Wildlife Fund along with partner organisations including Aussie Ark, Bush Heritage and Wires Wildlife Rescue.

DiCaprio, one of the world’s highest profile environmentalists, announced the news on Instagram.

Australia has been devastated by an unprecedented fire crisis in the south-east of the country that has so far killed at least 25 people with millions of animal feared to have also died.

Around two thousand homes have been destroyed while major cities have been shrouded in smoke.

The unfolding crisis, likely to continue throughout the Southern Hemisphere summer, has intensified demands for global action on climate change.

Hollywood has joined those calls. At the Golden Globes on Sunday, the first major awards show of the year, stars including Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett highlighted the plight of Australia.

Crowe, a winner on the night, stayed in Australia to ensure his family’s safety during the fires.

Alongside DiCaprio, other high-profile celebrities to pledge money to the relief effort include Sir Elton John, Liam Hemsworth, Kylie Jenner and Pink.